With a SE wind of about 10 mph, Newton set a start line just past No 5 with a first beat to A (near 1), then 9, up to C (near the buoy line between the Committee Boat and 5) then 5 and back through the start.
There were 22 starters, the highest number so far for this series. At the end of the first lap the fleet was pretty well line astern with small gaps between the individual boats. Darren led Mike T, Karen and Mark, all in Lasers with Chris H (Comet) in 5th place and Dave & Ann (Leader) in 6th. Jess (Laser) was 7th with a small gap back to Rick (Laser) and Mike A (Radial) and they were not far ahead of Sally (Comet) Paul H and Ralph (both in Lasers) and Mike C (Solo) and Jeremy (Laser), the latter two crossing the line together. Next across the line were Dean & Nick (Vago) in 15th place just ahead of Jemima in her new RS Terra Pro (a bit of a mouthful to say, but a very nice looking boat). Emily (4.7) was through in 17th place being chased by the Lasers of Nigel and Nick followed by Aileen (Comet) and Ron (Mirror) and Rich (Comet Duo).
On the second lap there was no change in the first three, but Jess had nipped ahead of Mark to move up to 4th place. Ralph, Mike C and Dean & Nick all gained four places to move up to 8th, 9th and 10th respectively (it’s amazing what a lucky wind shift can do for you!). Further back Jeremy gained a place by passing Sally and Nigel and Aileen both made up two places to 16th and 18th.
By the end of the third lap, Darren had increased his lead on Mike T and Jess was just in front of Karen and moved up to 3rd. Dave & Ann gained two places to move to 5th by passing Mark and Chris H with Ralph abreast of Chris as they crossed the line. Paul H moved up a place to 10th by passing Dean & Nick and Nigel gained two places and Nick one by getting past Jeremy. Jemima and Rich retired at the end of the lap.
No change with the first two on lap four, but Karen repassed Jess to regain 3rd place. Ralph and Mike C moved up to 5th and 7th respectively pushing Mark down to 8th. Aileen had a good lap passing Nick, Nigel and Sally to move to 15th place. The wind was dropping rapidly throughout this lap and Jeremy, Mike A, Aileen, Sally, Nick, Emily, Nigel and Ron all received the gun at the end of the lap.
Rick, Paul H and Dean & Nick were really pleased that they made the cut and were given the opportunity to test out their light wind skills on the fifth lap.
Darren crossed the line before the fourth lap finishers did, much to their relief! The only change on the last lap was Ralph relieving Jess of her 4th place by just five seconds.
The order on the water was – 1st Darren; 2nd Mike T; 3rd Karen; 4th Ralph; 5th Jess; 6th Dave & Ann ( the only ones not in a Laser)
On corrected time this becomes- 1st Darren; 2nd Mike T; 3rd Chris H; 4th Dave & Ann; 5th Karen; 6th Ron (you did not see that coming – lights and mirrors)
Thanks to SOOD Newton and the team of Sam, Phoebe and Angus.