We had a great day on the water today – and a fleet of ten flying fifteens racing!! Brilliant stuff – actually despite the lateness in October, it was sunny and really rather warm. The breeze was pretty sparkling – the sort that seems Force 3 building to Force 4 !!
The PRO laid a course starting right over on the North wall – but we all though they could have gone west a fair way – as it was we raced in only half the reservoir! So the races were short and quick fire – the reaches could have been a bit better set – we ended up with two runs and a fine reach…. Shame. PROing isn’t easy, so it’s hard to be too critical.
Race one got out of the gate pretty well – it was “all go” at the pin end ! The fleet did well from mid line down to the pin, I’d say. At the top mark it was a right old scrum ! (NZ 8 and France 7) Firth Senior did the Apthorp approach and got really properly clobbered – ha ha ha ha !! We’ve not heard the Vice Commodore’s excuses yet – but there will be a few !! I think I saw John and Helen putting in some turns too – tut tut, Vice Cap’n !!! As we peeled off down the rather broad reach Mark and Tony zipped out front. Just behind were Howard and Richard, frankly with the fleet all over them. In very hard contention were Dominic and David, John and Helen – Howard and Richard not coming out of it at all too well. By the start of the next beat it was Mark/Tony, John/Helen, the Humes, then Howard/Richard. Despite the strength in the breeze, it was a real shift picking’ day – and by the third beat it was still all very close at the top – Howard and Richard moving past into second. The final reaches were all a bit close – and John and Helen suddenly surged forward on the breeze, rolled Howard and Richard , and took a really well deserved second place.
Race two got away in similar style. Right down at the pin we had Mervyn and Callum carving a route out to the left – Howard and Richard on their heels. At the the top mark, blow me down, Mervyn and Callum shot around first, Mark and Tony standing right on their shirt-tails, Howard and Richard a couple of yards behind, The Humes in close contention too. To be honest, I can’t recall where it went wrong for Mervyn and Callum. Mark and Tony are just so much quicker then most the fleet, before you could say “boo” they were in front. Howard and Richard were picking them upwind today – and squeezed up into second. The reaches were fantastic again, with the Humes just feet behind on several occasions – very exciting!! Like race one we had lots of place changing, but coming into the final reach for the finish, it was Mark/Tony, Howard/Richard, John/Helen, Dominic and David. Just for a moment it looked like it might be deja vu – with John ad Helen suddenly surging through – this time it was not be … and Howard/Richard took second, but all boats crossing within a few seconds – simply fantastic racing !!