The initial forecast of wind and rain seemed to be correct, and as the boats prepared for the race the wind seemed to pick up. However, once the racing was under way the stronger gusts had eased and the sailors had to contend with shifts being dependant on where the gusts were coming from. 30 mins into the race and the wind faded almost completely as a northerly breeze tried to fight with the easterly that had prevailed until then. At lunchtime the wind seemed to have settled down, but there’s plenty of time for things to change before the next race…. Would Neil and Judith venture out? They did untie the cover but after a bit of pondering of the gusts passing through, retied it and gave up for the day.
Well the race did ease by the time the 2nd race started, however, just after the lead boats rounded the windward mark the first squall came in, and that sent Shunty for a swim allowing William past, but with the wind gusting William had to drop the gennaker for the gybe mark. Scumper having had to return to shore to re-rig the gennaker again was fortunate that the race sequence had been postponed, made best use of Toggle’s weight and held the gennaker to the gybe mark to take the lead which he maintained for the full race.
The gusts did come and go, but when they were there everyone had to be on their guard as massive shifts were encountered on the beat, and all they could do off wind was bear away and enjoy!
The wind seemed to increase even more before the final race of the day (only to ease at the top of the beat!). When the fleet was out of the shade of the shore the wind was certainly there in force and there were some spectacular reaches that everyone survived.
In the GPs Dave Lawson was sailing with Ken Bell and won both races from Mike Fairlamb and Sally Roberts. Scumper and Toggle led the handicap fleet but there were strong challenges from Robbie D with Matty Fairlamb in an RS200. The standard of racing has been very high and positions seem to be dependant on being in the right place to get the wind, as well as making less mistakes than the other competitors.
With strong on-shore winds, returning to shore after the race was spectacular at times as the boats had little steerage due to raised centreboards and rudders. Sam Hall was quoted as demonstrated ‘an interesting way’ of stopping his boat. Jo Hardie ended up in the reeds (sshhh – don’t tell the National Park) after a capsize. John Halliday had to make several attempts to get ashore safely as he tried to cope with some unplanned gybes, but Shunty was there (waist deep) to lend a helping hand
One last race for the Graduates tomorrow, but two more for the club boats – will the forecast prove right again? If so there’ll be some tired people tomorrow evening!