It was a pleasant sunny morning, but quite windy again, 15 mph from the ENE but very variable in strength with a lot of stronger gusts coming through. Bob used a Tektona start with a first beat back towards X positioned just in front of the bank flagpole, then 6p, 5p, 9s, 2s, 4s and back through the start.
The sun obviously had an effect as there were 17 starters for this race, much more than for recent races.
The early starters managed to stay ahead for the first lap and the first five back through the line were Hadey (4.7), Chris H (Comet), Peter S (Byte II), William (4.7) and Mike A (Radial). Leading the chasing pack in 6th place was Jon (Laser) followed by Newton & Ellen (RS200) then the Lasers of Mark, James, Richard S, Dave L, Franz, and Alistair S. John W (Radial) was next through followed by Dean & Nick (Vago), Rick (Laser) and Adrian (Vago single handed – he does like a challenge!)
There were quite a few going over in the challenging conditions as the wind kept dropping and rising dramatically.
At the gun Hadey had managed to stay ahead to take the victory with Jon up to 2nd, Chris H 3rd, Newton & Ellen 4th, Mike A 5th and Richard S 6th.
William, Alistair S and John W decided to sit this one out, so 14 set off at the start. First back through the line was Jon chased by fellow Laser sailors Mark, Dave L, and Franz. Hadey was next through in 5th place just ahead of Richard S. Then there was a gap back to Newton & Ellen in 7th and Mike A 8th. Adrian was not far behind but well ahead of Chris H and James (who had already sampled the water). Behind James was Peter S, another who had dipped in on the first lap, and bringing up the rear were Rick and Dean & Nick.
At the end of the second lap the first two remained the same but Richard S had moved up three places to 3rd. James had got going again and was up four places to 7th. Newton & Ellen had capsized twice and dropped down to 13th, but Chris H had managed to pass Adrian to move up one place to 9th.
Peter S had gained a place and Dean & Nick had gained two places.
On the third lap Jon and Mark still led, but Franz and Dave L had moved up to 3rd and 4th by passing Richard. Hadey was still going well in 6th place with James 7th and Mike A 8th. Peter S gained another two places moving up to 9th. After yet another capsize Newton & Ellen decided to call it a day.
At the end of the fourth and last lap Jon had increased his lead and was a clear winner. Franz just managed to pip Mark across the line to take 2nd place with Richard coming through in 4th place. Poor Dave L capsized in sight of the finish allowing James to take 5th spot, but there were no other changes in position.
The final positions on the water were –
1st Jon; 2nd Franz; 3rd Mark; 4th Richard; 5th James; 6th Hadey.
On handicap Jon will retain 1st place, but Hadey should move up to 2nd with Mike A up to 6th.
Thanks to Bob and the OOD team of Chris A, Phil A, Jessica B, Jerome C, Bill C and Jeremy T.