This morning was a pleasant autumn morning with a light mist early on and the sun breaking through before the first race, which started with a light NE wind about 7 mph. By the time the second race started the wind had increased to about 12 mph and continued to increase throughout the race!
Richard S used an Island start line with a beat down to X (just E of 7), then 6p, 9s, 5p, 2p and back through the start line.
There were 21 starters including Steve S with his brand new Aero 7. Newton & Ellen (RS200) scorched away at the start as they caught a gust just as the gun went.
At the end of the first lap early starter William (Topper) was still ahead with Newton & Ellen closing in on him. Peter R (s/h Enterprise) came through in 3rd place with Mark (Laser) 4th, Julian W (Solo) 5th and Steve S 6th and Rhys (Topper) 7th. Curtis capsized gybing round 5 and impaled his mast, which was an omen for things to come!
In the light wind there was not time for a second lap before the gun went and the final positions on the water were 1st Newton & Ellen; 2nd Steve S; 3rd Peter R; 4th Karen (Laser); 5th John W (Laser); 6th Mark (Laser)
Julian, Dave I and Steve S decided to sit this one out, so there were 18 starters for the second race.
The wind was now getting quite frisky and somewhat perverse, one minute the wind died away and then the next minute a viscious gust would come through and not necessarily in the same direction as the previous wind. This made things quite interesting and there were numerous capsizes!
Mark led at the end of the first lap followed by Karen, Newton & Ellen and then the Lasers of Rod, John W, James, and Franz. Hadey (Radial) was next and then Peter & Sylvia (RS200), Curtis (Radial) and then Adrian (sailing single handed in his Vago and finding it quite a challenge in the conditions). At the back of the fleet the Toppers of William, Joe and Rhys were having their own battle and doing well to keep going in the freshening breeze. Peter R decided that these were not the ideal conditions for sailing an Ent single handed and retired before the end of the lap.
By the end of the second lap Karen had taken the lead with Newton & Ellen in 2nd place and John W was up to 3rd. Hadey gained a place to go to 7th and Curtis was up one place to 9th. Rick and William had both gained two places.
Karen still led at the end of the third lap, but James had moved up six places to 2nd and Hadey had moved up two places to 5th. Franz was up one place to 7th, Mike A, Rick and Chris H were also up four places to 8th, 9th and 10th respectively, although these gains were largely to the retirement of John W, Curtis and Adrian who had all come to grief more than once! Rhys also retired on this lap and William and Joe received the finish gun at the end of the lap.
At the end of the fourth and last lap Karen crossed the line in 1st place, but Mark took 2nd place just ahead of Newton & Ellen in 3rd place with James 4th and Rod and Franz both gaining a place to finish 5th and 6th.
On handicap the first three places should remain unchanged, but Hadey will leapfrog up to 4th place.
Thanks to Richard S and the OOD Team of Jim T, Gareth and Roland L (again!) who had quite a busy morning.