Cobley Series 1st November
A misty Autumnal morning with very little wind, but surprisingly there were 16 starters.
Adrian had a difficult job setting a course as there was not enough wind to suggest which direction would offer a first beat ! In the end he settled on 6P 9S 5S 7P 8S with the start line from the flag pole to the pin which was roughly in line with No 8 but further out.
For the second week in a row the final two marks became irrelevant as the leaders rounded 5 and were finished shortly after.
The positions changed considerably during the course of this short race due to the vagaries of the wind and the lack of visibility in the thick mist.
William in his Topper led by quite a way, but rounding 9 he set off in the direction of 4 rather than 5. It was not possible to actually see either mark in the poor visibility ! A number of following boats set off in the same direction as William before they twigged they were heading west. One of the rescue boats was unfortunately parked in front of No 5, which did not help the fleet to spot exactly where the mark was. Karen came to the rescue by politely asking them to move so that No 5 was revealed faintly in the distance.
As often happens in light winds the back half of the fleet rounded 9 and were rewarded with a nice little breeze which propelled them past most of the front half of the fleet before reaching No 5. Soon after rounding 5 the finish gun sounded and the final positions were –
1st Newton & Ellen (RS 200); 2nd Sylvia (Laser); 3rd Karen (Laser); 4th Curtis (Otter); 5th James (Laser); 6th Rick (Laser).
Despite the lack of wind everyone stayed on for the second race of the day.
The course was adjusted slightly by dropping No 9 and Mike A (Lightning) led round the first mark but was passed by a trio of Lasers, Richard, Rod and Dave L, before reaching No 5. In the light wind it was quite tricky to manoeuvre and Hadey got caught out by Karen on starboard and reluctantly had to do penalty turns.
There was only time for one lap and there was some confusion at the finish line as Richard in the lead received the finish gun as he crossed the line heading towards No 8. The following boats were not sure whether the finish line was before the mark or after the mark. Rod veered off to cross the line which allowed Dave L to slip past him. Mike A slightly further back in fourth place thought the boats ahead of him were being finished before the mark and headed directly for the line rather than carrying on towards 8. This cost him dearly as he got into the lee of the trees on the bank and it took him 5 minutes to get back to round the mark allowing Sylvia to come through to take fourth place.
After these four boats had crossed the line the wind died away completely and Sally, Curtis, James and John C gave up all hope of finishing and started paddling to retirement. The prize for tenacity goes to Rick who was determined to finish and finally crossed the line 43 minutes after the first boat.
The final positions were –
1st Richard; 2nd Dave L; 3rd Rod; 4th Sylvia; 5th Mike A; 6th Karen
Thanks to Adrian and the OOD Team Pat, Mick, Richard M, Paul B and Simon R.