Five teams arrived to a very fractional breeze, blue skies and a good forecast! It was worth hanging on too….. The fleet cap was away somewhere, and Emma and Russell were planned to be away. John and Helen were racing at the Grafham Open.
It took a while for Contender Champion PRO, Stuart Jones, to get the course down in the shifty conditions so we all basically ambled our way on to the water. Race one got away of quite a short gate with a reasonable pin bias – however the water that side looked like a mirror…. Howard and Richard, right or wrong hit the pin on the gun and set off for the mirror – the rest of the fleet spread up the line and probably it was Mark and Toby who got the recall toot (ha ha ha ha!!!)….
Meanwhile over in the apparent mirror to the left side there was a good trickle of breeze which brought Howard and Richard to the top mark first and from the left – never to be really threatened again. Mark and Toby had a right old tussle with Dom and David Hume though – at the end, it was Howard and Richard by about 50 yards , then Dominic and David and Mark/Toby in third.
Then the breeze pepped up for ‘proper job’ racing!! Race two got itself a strong bias at the committee boat end and whilst the keenies went down the line a bit, the Humes did a cracker of a start from the right place. Everyone hiking by this time, it was a good time to pick the beats correctly. This race was remarkable for the place changing in the first three positions – The Humes, Mark/Toby, Howard/Richard – everyone had a go! Overtakes were happening upwind and down – fantastic stuff it was!! As we rounded the bottom mark for the last time, Mark/Toby nipped around first and tacked reasonably early, Howard/Richard turned third and tacked quickly too. The Humes held for the wall….. pity that – hee hee!! David said afterwards that at one point they had a lift that would have been their banker but sadly, wall-side, things did not go well and they slipped out of contention. The other two zipped through the top mark really very close together and bundled off downwind – it was planable by this time so great fun was had!! At the wing mark. Mark and Toby established an overlap from behind and nipped around the inside then the two teams hurtled off downwind – Mark and Toby to windward, Howard and Richard trying to set downwind as log as possible. There were really nice puffs and the spray was starting to fly!! The two boats were heavily overlapped and really close at the finish with Howard/Richard right next to the committee boat at the line. Not being able to tell from our boat, it must have been the line angle and the little duck down in 4011 at the end as line honours went to Howard/Richard with Mark and Toby in a very close second. Dom and David were third.