Race Report – Sunday 4th December … Fantastic !!!

Absolutely fantastic racing today at Datchet!! A ten boat fleet, and all very closely matched – racing as a pack most of the time.  Breezes were pretty good – with some great planing 3 sail reaches to be had!

I often say in the Blog that being a PRO isn’t easy… and so it proved today.  The current water level made it hard to get the ten boat fleet afloat in a timely fashion, and the start sequence was in process before the last 3 or 4 boats were fully ready – yours truly included!  I’m not sure why the PRO would start our class before the fleet was ready as he could see the situation quite easily  – but it just spoils it for a few members last off the jetty.  We could easily have  started later in the sequence – there weren’t many boats out apart from FFs. And then the PRO set a tiny course using way less than half the reservoir. Why do that? Each race took the FFs about 35 minutes – we spent longer getting the boats ready and putting them away than racing!! It was a ridiculous use of 475 acres of water.

So race one slipped out of the gate at full pelt. There was some kind of altercation between the Admiral and FC Hanson – the sort which had to be resolved in the bar afterwards!!  The Linders pushed out to the front very quickly, but there was a fair amount of place changing between them and John/Helen – really pushing the pace they were. Richard and Howard were ninth out of the gate and way behind – and managed to cut their way up the fleet to about 4th.  Mervyn was racing with his “ringer”, and b fast they were going too – picking up a podium in race one. In general the fleet was very tightly packed – so there was plenty going on and overtaking on all legs of the course. The Firth Team, today Mike and Mark in 3888 (Tony Mumford having trouble with his back) were going pretty quickly too – with Richard’s nice crisp heavy weather spinnaker aboard they were going pretty quickly and always in contention.

If anything, the breeze picked up in race two. The Stensons sailed a blinder and pipped the whole fleet to the windward mark for the first time in my memory – that’s like getting pole in Formula One!!  They sailed really well !!  The weather mark got seriously busy – more than once, and some pretty fine judgements were needed through all the hollerin’!! It took the Linders a wee while to winkle their way through from 3rd, but again they did. But behind them, there were continual boat on boat dramas – lots of passing on all the legs. I think it was in this race that Andy and James sailed a windward corker along the north wall and passed masses of boats in the process. Howard and Richard played right on the last beat – just to see loads of left side boats blast into the mark ahead of them. The surfing finish under spinnaker for 5th, 6th and 7th  was incredibly close – just 8 seconds separating Howard/Richard, Andy/James and Mike/Mark.

So really a very good day’s racing!!  Shock news is that less than 25 members have so far signed up for Christmas lunch next weekend. Touch and Go whether it is worth the caterer’s while apparently. Sign up if you still have not done so!!

We have maybe just two or three race sessions left this series. We’ve had sixteen boats enter – John and Helen lead the series, well ahead of The Humes, who are just one point ahead of Howard/Richard. Close stuff!!  See full results by clicking the link on the right of the home page….

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