What a brilliant day for racing!! We had 12-17mph of breeze, bright bright light, and really plenty of place-changing action…
It was Sprint Racing today – this was as a consequence of having 200 kids (plus 400 parents, 100 siblings, and 33 Motorhomes!) racing a Topper event at the club today…. So the members’ fleet was crammed into one small bit of racecourse down the Club end. Each race lasted just 30 minutes, so in total we probably had slightly more time wrapping and unwrapping boats than we did having fun!! We really ought raise at the Sailing Committee that if we are going to treat members racing like this, then there should a third/fourth race, or more laps or something, don’t you agree? I think we deserve more than 60 minutes racing for our fees!!
Anyway, none of that can detract from two gripping little races. We had a pin bias, and in proper-job breezes we fair powered our way down to the pin end line. Steve and Simon did their trademark “pin end flyer” and barring a bit of shouting from the Humes, I thought it served them well. You could lay the top mark in two tacks and most of us did – but there were simply huge arcs of breeze up the beats. The Humes picked really well, and at the top it was them first, then I think Steve and Simon, followed by Howard and Richard. Now the reaches were pretty close calls, plus a bit hurried due to their shortness, and there were good sized slabs of breeze sweeping across the reaches – so it was all systems “go” – just fabulous!! Howard/Richard decided to take no less than two keel inspections which meant dicing with Steve/Simon with a cockpit full of Thames!! Anyway, we shot around this baby course and eventually Howard/Richard eased past Steve/Simon in the spray. The final reach was really a bit tight – quite a few opted for two sail reaching which was perhaps a tad faster – it was that sort of wind strength.
Race two kicked off in very similar style – a bit more breeze too!! Bright sunshine and all that spray – it was terrific. This time it was Firth and Firth hit the top mark first – we had all gone left, but “the Wisp” as ever found shifts of his own and put in a very good beat. I think Humes were second round, Howard/Richard third. These three moved ahead of the pack and there was really a fair bit of place changing for such a short race. The shifts were even wilder, but as we took to the final beat, it was The Humes, Howard/Richard and then Firth/Firth. It’s really not fair having two of them in the same boat, is it??!! Mike and Mark went right, and the others went left. Not sure what happened but they gifted themselves a really big lead and were well away – no amount of flying down the reaches was going to catch them – they finished with a great win, the Humes and excellent second and Howard/Richard third.