Really rather a beautiful day – 8 teams on the slip this morning!! Very light breezes but racing was pretty tense, nonetheless!! Turned out to get more stunning as the day wore on, with 20 degrees showing on the car thermometer going home!
Plus… we had Vice Commodore Tinsley with us. Privilege or what !??!! You’d think a long break would have eroded his skills, but it didn’t show – see race one!
We got away pretty promptly for race one – hmmmm, it turned out that “some of us” did not know it was starboard handed course and went for the wrong mark!! First around the wrong mark sailing very quickly, were Dominic and David, with Howard and Richard in hot pursuit a boat length or two behind – once the mistake was realised they rounded the correct mark 7th and 8th !!!! First around the correct mark and in the lead were Ian and James Linder. They were strongly challenged by Mike Firth and VC Tinsley, who I think maybe took the lead on the second beat – Mike doing his light breeze, “Foxy Firth” thing !!
While those two were tussling it out, Mervyn sailed up into third, and ended up in a right old gybing duel with Howard and Richard who had made their way up from 8th. In the final lap, the Linders popped in ahead of Firth/Tinsley (who later retired to drink tea and talk about old times!). Poor Fleet Captain Mervyn, sailing with Sophie Singleton, got sliced out of third just near the end on a couple of gybes by Howard and Richard. Dominic and David were next in.
Race two was becalmed flat at the start and an altogether tense affair. Howard and Richard thought they might cross the line on Monday, while the rest of you bright things sailed off (relatively!!). Ian and James going right took to the front, and Mervyn/Sophie sailed blindingly well to round second. I think Mervyn and Sophie might have wrestled the lead in this race at some point, but coming up the second beat, with the shortened signal given, most of the fleet went right – into the flat bits. Howard and Richard went left and really, really thought they had it in the bag !! Not to be – after a great beat, straight into a hole they went about 5 boat lengths from the mark, just to watch Mervyn/Sophie, Ian/James waft by and around the top mark and get clean away!! Well, they were well gone, and those at the top mark completely stationary – needing some unseen tiller waggling (that’s everyone, you understand!) to get around…. Mervyn was about a quarter of a mile away but now also in flat calm. Yes – you guessed …. Ian and James secured the lead, and rounded just ahead at the last mark. Mervyn, ever patient, now found himself with Howard/Richard chomping right at his transom. For the last dogleg to the finish, the big question was to drop kites or not… Howard dropped, Sophie flew hers around on the inside berth. It wasn’t really a very kind day for Mervyn and Sophie….!! Howard and Richard inched away and pipped them narrowly right on the line for second place!!! Pleasantries and best wishes were exchanged !!!!