With 65 boats in six fleets over racing over two courses, plenty of wind from the SE, and some rain to boot, it was certain to be a busy weekend. Fortunately the morning rain had stopped, and the wind eased, by the time the ODs took to the water to set the courses. As soon as they were ready, the competitors were allowed to launch, and the wind increased(!) with a few boats capsizing before racing commenced.
The wind did ease, but it constantly swung through 20-30 degrees, seemingly around different sides of Sale Fell, leading to different biases on the beat at different times. There was good, consistent sailing by many, with only a few retirements.
The wind shifted more to the SW just as the 2nd race started, but this time it didn’t swing back again, instead the fleets had to contend with brief squalls passing through. As the race continued, the squalls were more prolonged and caused various capsizes so the OD opted to shorten the course slightly early while conditions were still suitable. As the boats were finishing conditions continued to deteriorate and rescue crews worked hard taking sailors from numerous capsized boats which were recovered later.
After a short break once all were ashore, with no sign of an early abatement in the conditions, it was decided to postpone further racing until Sunday.
After a windy night, the conditions on Sunday remained too strong to consider racing, even after an hour’s postponement, so the outstanding races were cancelled.
A great selection of photos taken by John Spittle throughout Saturday’s racing are available to be viewed and purchased on the following website