With several members travelling from Norwich, where it had been warm and sunny with a gentle breeze it was a surprise to be greeted by a F4 from the SSW capped with overcast skies and a temperature more suited to autumn. However, the sea state was fine and after a short discussion everyone was keen to launch. There were a few changes of plan, as Phil and Don swapped Phantom & D-One, teaming up in Phil’s RS400 and Tom Q swapping his RS300 for the club Solution. And with Tom A’s helm away he teamed up with Richard in the Xenon.
By the time racing started the wind had dropped to a comfortable F3 making for a pleasant sail.
The RS400’s of Phil & Don and Team Brown led the fleet up the windward leg with most choosing to stay offshore in the flood tide. Phil & Don led round the windward mark and hoisting their spinny headed offshore again with Team Brown electing to gybe early and ‘hog’ the shore line staying out of the tide which proved the right thing to do. The rest of the fleet were not far behind although Tom was a little way back after having to perform some on the water boat mtce on the Solution when the clew strap came undone. Downwind the Lasers made good progress against the faster boats with Mark just ahead of Ed after the first lap. Phil & Don were seen heading for shore which we later found out was to re-tie the spinny downhaul! Team Brown crossed the line first but the lasers were only a minute behind with Ed passing Mark on the final lap to take the race win on his season debut with Mark second.
The wind had decreased a tad at the start of race two. After the cautious start everyone took in race one, fearing the tide would take them over the line it was a close call for some but racing got away first time. Team Brown led the fleet to the windward mark, with everyone staying offshore this time. Unsurprisingly the RS400‘s led at the windward mark but close behind were the Lasers and Solution. Over the next three laps Team Brown built up a good lead crossing the line over two minutes ahead of the Lasers but this was not enough. Mark finished second and the next three boats crossing the line just nine seconds apart. It was another Laser 1,2 with Mark taking the race win and Ed second.
The wind by this time had decreased further and now a pleasant F2 with the sun making an occasional appearance. Despite it now being past Eight o’clock everyone was up for another race. This time prime starting positions were hard fought for with two boats being forced past the line. The race followed a similar pattern to the previous race with Team Brown leading the fleet with the rest close behind with Mark just in front. It was another Laser 1,2 with Mark taking race honours again and Ed second.
As we got back on shore we were greeted by Curtis who was in the process of packing his RS700 in readiness for the long haul to Torbay for the RS Summer Regatta. Good luck Curtis, it should be a great weekend.
There are several photo’s of the evenings racing on the Flickr site