Race Officer Ben Lloyd-King was faced with a favourable easterly wind at eight to thirteen miles per hour; a little shifty but not too much.
The sea state was choppy, a brisk incoming tide with some sunshine and cold air so the desire was to keep things moving. The first race started at 1400 hours, boats finished at or about 1500; the second race began at once with a 1600 or so finish.
Thirty boats raced, a good club average, and the beauty of the weather conditions meant the very junior club sailors in the Mirror fleet also got yet another Sunday of full racing. The RIB crews and Oyster team were all well wrapped up in several layers with the hot coffee flowing to fend off the chill wind.
Keeping a range of boat crews happy from the slowest to the quickest turbo fleet member is not always easy so it was credit to Ben and his teams that after some shouted questions to crews and radio communications at the end of race one the course stayed in situ. Race two was shortened at the end as the tide became quite a factor in the speed of the smaller boats.
Three Firefly raced, Ben Lumby and Liz maintained great form to win both races; Sophia and Alan seconds with Guy and Becca thirds. Six Mirrors took to the water again; so keen are these younger stars that quite a few were being jetted to the club by family members after playing various sports fixtures in the morning.
Mentions of rugby, soccer, hockey, gymnastics, and so on resounded as anxious crews waited for their partners. Huw Beverly-Jones and Matilda Ward are currently heading up the autumn series by quite a margin.
Then the crews, Indy and Morven; Mary and Alex; Torin and Kees; Luke and Danny and Martin with Katie are more tightly packed in the points. One of the race team commented on how these youngsters chat away to each other all the time with occasional bursts of giggling when things aren’t going to plan!
Three Lasers hit the water, slightly confusingly with each of the sail sizes represented. What happens on the water is almost always not what the results show as handicaps kick in. Fairly close sailing on the water was the order of the day from Sydney Turner, Lara Odling and Poppy Luxton.
Without a doubt, our most competitive fleet is the medium handicap. Eight of a possible twelve boats were out and the sailing was close. The conditions favoured the RS Aero7, Simon Loveridge winning race one and Patrick Clarke race two. In the mix the two Europe sailors are never out of the placings with a third and a second. This is a rapidly expanding fleet by any club standards.
The asymmetric fleet, usually the RS200 crews, was in good form as after both the summer and an event on Saturday we still saw four boats. Freya and Jess got both wins; Bryony and Francesco the seconds with Emma and Max the thirds. The turbo fleet was five boats, down to three quite quickly for various reasons. Peter Knight’s B14 took the first win, Liam and Wayne’s magnificent flying International 14 the second win.
There are three more autumn series races; then four ‘Frostbite’ races and finally for this season the Christmas Pudding Pursuit Race on December 10. Tempting fate but next Sunday looks good if the forecast holds true.