Datchet Race Report – Sunday July 22nd…..!!

Well, what a day !!!  Blue Water (not blue algae…), crystal clear view of HM Des Res at Windsor, blue skies, warm, and around 7-10mph of breeze !!  Really, really, very nice!!

With the onset of the holidays, the Club was pretty quiet – but we had seven Fifteens on the slip and racing.  Ian Linder would have made it eight – but Ian decided it was a gel coat day!!!  So a good turnout and we were missing quite a few regulars – Mike Firth wasn’t there, neither were Dominic and David Hume, The Stensons, and Midnight Rog.  We did see sails fluttering on 3948 as Chris McLaughlin took a look at this new baby – hopefully we’ll see him afloat soon.

The wind was all over the place and the PRO set a great starboard handed course covering a large proportion of the lake – super!!  That’s what we like!!!

We had a pretty short line, biased to the committee boat end (except when it wasn’t !) and a long beat up to the SW wall.  Race one got away in some style – a bit of overcrowding at the port end !!!  It was a great sight though – as ever, Mark and Toby made a really neat start and pushed the pace coming out of the gate quite near the pin – interesting!! The fleet opened up into two halves – the four at the front pulling away strongly. In that pack we had simply knockout racing – Andy and Agness really pushed the pace looking for their first win in 3911. Also in the pack were Mark and Toby, John and Helen, Howard and Richard. I think we all held the lead at some point – there was just loads and loads going on all the time. The beats were tricky to call, so lots of place changing. As we nipped around the gybe mark for the last time, Andy and Agness were out front. John and Helen were having a proper slugging match with Mark and Toby… and Howard and Richard nipped around the wing close on their heels.  First to go “up” seeking the breeze (and fun) were John/Helen, Mark/Toby – and before long Andy/Agness pushed right too.  Straight into a hole – ha ha ha ha !!!  Howard and Richard nipped left and caught the puff – it was a long way down, but at the bottom mark, Howard/Richard pulled to the line with about two or three boat lengths over Mark and Toby, then quickly we had John/Helen and Andy/Agness.

Race two got under way pretty smartly with the FF’s off first. Steve and Simon and Howard and Richard got heavily embroiled at the pin end with a really nice looking Merlin that was keen on being mashed into matchsticks by keelboats!!  Suddenly there was a call of “tacking” and the Merlin bounced onto port with a death wish.  It took a few moments to extricate from that but both the fifteens put about and headed to the right of the beat – not a good place in general !!!  Mark and Toby were well away – a mere dot!!  To be honest, I couldn’t possibly do much of a race report as we were so far behind, I couldn’t see what was happening. Generally on 3934 we carefully selected our shifts and got nailed every time – not a recovery day!!  Perhaps Cap’n Hanson will let us know how it all went at the front!!

Anyway – a brilliant day’s sailing.  If you weren’t there, you missed a proper treat – summer sailing!!