A much better wind than last week, about 12 mph from the SW, enabled Mike A to set a long first beat to 4, then 2, 5, 8, 6, 7 and back though the start .
There were 19 starters and at the end of the lap the first starter Ron (Mirror) was still leading with Peter S (Byte) in 2nd place, Karen (Radial) was 3rd and Julian B (OK) 4th. The next three boats, Ellen & Newton (RS200), Mike Tr (Laser) and Simon (Blaze) crossed the line together, but it was clear that the fastest boat on the water was the Blaze of Simon B.
At the gun Simon was up to 1st spot and Karen just managed to pass Ron to take 2nd. Jon C was up to 4th with Julian B 5th and Ellen & Newton 6th.
Bill (K1) suffered a gear problem and had to retire.
At the end the first lap Simon (Blaze) was first back though the line followed by Julian B (OK), Jon C (Laser) and Richard S (Laser) and these four kept the same positions for all four laps of the race, although Simon did gradually increase his lead at the front. So all the horse trading went on behind them and Mike Tr (Laser – sporting his new radial cut sail) was through in 5th place with Newton & Ellen (RS200) hot on his transom with Dean & Nick (Vago) close on their coat tails ! (mixed metaphors for a mixed fleet). Karen (Radial) came through next in 8th place not far ahead of Alistair S and Frantz (both in Lasers). Papa S (Byte – congratulations Peter – and Sylvia of course, who had no little part to play!) was 11th but only 10 seconds behind Frantz. There was a slight gap back to Paul H (Supernova – joining the fast fleet), then Dave & Ann (Leader). About a minute later along came Ron (Mirror) who had managed to distance himself from the family battle at the back of the fleet involving Emily (Topper), Sam (Pico) and Phoebe (Oppie). Ralph crossed the start line then made a tactical retirement as he said he had a date with a camel and did not want anyone else to get the hump!
No change in the first six on the second lap but Karen, Alistair and Frantz all passed Dean & Nick to gain a place. Behind these Paul H also gained a place but no further change and Phoebe received the gun at the end of the lap.
On the third lap, remarkably there were no changes in position for the first ten boats although it was difficult to split Mike Tr and Newton & Ellen at the line in the battle for 5th place. Paul H gained another two places (confirmation of his fast fleet status, although it had taken him some time to get up steam!). The only other change in the fleet was Sam getting past Emily. They and Ron received the gun at the end of this lap.
At the end of the race Simon crossed the line well ahead of the rest of the fleet and at last there was excitement amongst the other leading boats as Newton & Ellen pipped Mike Tr for 5th place by just one second! The rest of the fleet maintained station and the final positions on the water were – 1st Simon; 2nd Julian B; 3rd Jon; 4th Richard S; 5th Newton & Ellen; 6th Mike Tr
On handicap the first two keep their positions, bur Karen moves up from 7th to 3rd pushing Jon and Richard down to 4th and 5th and Mike Tr just pips Newton & Ellen for 6th spot.
Thanks to Mike A and the OOD Team of Bob W, Brian M, Ian B, Jess and Sally.