Gillette Series 16 – 1st August 2018

With a SW wind of about 8 mph Paul R set a first beat to O, then X, 9, 5, 6, 7 and back through the start. You needed to be there to know where O and X were. Luckily there was a shortage of Os and Xs otherwise it would have been first to round three in a row wins the race!

There were 22 starters tonight and a good turnout of Juniors. There looked to be the prospect of a good battle between Ben and Joe in Radials, Ollie and Sam in Toppers and Jemima, Ed and Phoebe in Oppies. It was the first race in the series for Sam, Ollie and Phoebe – so welcome to the fun.

At the end of the first lap a quartet of Lasers, Karen, Mike Tr, Ralph and Rick occupied the first four places (as it was a quartet it would have been difficult for them to occupy any more places, perhaps less if two of them were on the same boat), Newton (Solo) was not far behind in 5th place followed by another two Lasers helmed by Mark and John H with Dean & Nick (Vago) not far behind them. Then came the Radials of Ben and Joe split by only a second across the line followed closely by Paul H (Laser). Bob (Solo), Richard H and Jeremy (both in Lasers) were next through with Monica just behind them in her Europe telling them what they were doing wrong! Chris & Carol (Sport 14) sailed through in a little pocket of their own about one minute ahead of Ron (Mirror) who was trying to stay ahead of the junior battle at the back. This was led by Ed just ahead of Jemima, both in Oppies, and they were a little way ahead of Ollie and Sam in Toppers and Phoebe in her Oppie .

On the second lap Ralph managed to get past Mike Tr to move up to 2nd place, Rick was still 4th but Mark passed Newton to move up to 5th place. Joe and Paul H had both passed Ben to move up to 9th and 10th and Richard H and Jeremy had got past Bob (they must have taken note of Monica’s advice!), particularly as she passed Bob as well. Ed and Jemima still led at the back with Ollie and Sam in the same positions. Phoebe had been given the gun at the end of the first lap and Ollie received the gun at the end of this lap.

There was no change in the positions of the first eight boats on the third lap although Paul H crossed the line dead level with Dean & Nick for the 8th place. Richard H and Jeremy both moved up two places to 10th and 11th and Monica retired (job well done). Ben had repassed Joe and further back Chris & Carol had gained a place. They and Ron, Ed, Jemima and Sam all received the gun at the end of the lap.

At the end of the fourth and final lap Ralph just managed to pip Karen across the line, but that was the only change with the leading boats. Joe had a good last lap passing Ben and Jeremy to make up two places and that was the only other change in the order.

The final order on the water was –
1st Ralph; 2nd Karen; 3rd Mike Tr; 4th Rick; 5th Mark; 6th Newton.

On handicap Ralph and Karen keep their places but Ed moves up to 3rd with Newton 4th, Jemima 5th and Mike Tr 6th.

Well done to Ralph for his first victory of the series and to Rick for his best position of the series. Well done also to the junior sailors especially Sam, Ollie and Phoebe contesting their first race in the series.

Thanks to Paul R and the OOD team of Mark P, Monica R, Nigel J, Patrick C and Sophie F-P.