27 May Gillette Series Race 8

Rod, with a 12-14 mph West wind, set a first beat down to 4, across to 2, back to 8, up to 5 on the buoy line, then the usual 6, 7 and back through the start.
There were 22 starters including a mini fleet of Toppers sailed by Jo, Edward and Ben.
First back through the start line was Ian C (Supernova) followed by David, Curtis and Karen all in Lasers. Newton (Solo) was next through in 5th place, then Hugh(Radial) just in front of Steve S (Laser) followed by the Radials of Paula and Sylvia. Peter S (Byte) was next in 10th, pursued by Mike A and Ellen in two more Radials and Paul H (Supernova). Sally & Stuart in the Leader (not reefed, but wet suited and booted – just in case !) were the first double hander and they were followed by John H (Laser), Amy (Europe), Mike C (Solo) and then the second Leader of Rob & Craig. Chasing them was Tracey in her Comet and then the intrepid trio of Jo, Ben and Edward in the Toppers. Jeremy started in his Skipper 12 but retired at some time during the first lap.
The second lap saw the three leaders unchanged, but Steve S had passed Karen and Hugh to move up to 4th. Sylvia had passed Paula to take 8th place and Mike A and Ellen had got past Peter S to move up to 10th and 11th. John H had moved up two places and Mike C one place by passing Amy. Tracey had decided to call it a day, but the three Toppers were still gamely battling on in the frisky conditions.
At the end of the third lap there was no change in the leading three but Karen had repassed Steve S. Newton was still in 6th place and behind him there was a great battle between the Radials of Hugh, Sylvia, Paula, Mike and Ellen with Paul H and John H mixing it with the Radials. Rob & Craig had managed to catch and pass Sally & Stuart in the battle of the Leaders and Amy was still chasing them, but the three Toppers had wisely retired.
Fourth lap and Ian was still leading with David in 2nd, but Karen had moved up another place to 3rd pushing Curtis down to 4th. Steve S had retired moving Newton up to 5th. Hugh and Sylvia were neck and neck for 6th spot. There were no other changes in position, although there was some close racing. Mike C thought he had been given the gun and sailed off course, only to discover after the race that he had not been finished !
Curtis came to grief on the last lap when he suffered severe cramp and could not get across the boat ! Hugh managed to get an inside overlap on Sylvia on the very last mark to pip her at the finish.
At the gun the final positions on the water were 1st Ian; 2nd David; 3rd Karen; 4th Newton; 5th Hugh; 6th Sylvia.
Ian and David had identical times on handicap, so it was a joint first place.
Thanks to Rod and the OOD team of Monica, Chris A, Eddie, Don and Nick J.

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