Welcome to the first race report of the new year. Happy New Year readers, welcome to 2018. Let us hope it brings happiness and good racing to us
The new start was auspicious. It was cold. It was still. The water was like a mirror. It was cloudy.
Ben had volunteered to run a race for us and set the marks for a Head of the harbour race. he decided to wait for a wind to build.
The clouds lowered. The rain fell. It got colder. We got to the start line, except for Mark H whose boat managed to lose it's kicker before it was rigged. The wind at this stage required a kicker so Mark had to abandon.
At the start we had hard cold rain. We had wind and the feeling that Ben was going to be stretched as he was Race Officer, timekeeper and Safety Boat. Pet, in the RS200 single handed decided that survival mode was the best for operating., and Santa's dry suit gift was just snug and warm. Kelvin was sailing with Charlie Kane from Saturday squad, also in Santa's gifts.
Five boats at the start meant that we did not get too crowded but Kelvin and Chris mistimed it, forced to slow down before the flag drop and that allowed Paul Linford, welcome back Paul, to get away. Pete and Richard J got off the line and everyone headed upwind to prepare for what promised to be an exciting downwind. Paul was slightly ahead of Chris as the run started and the rest followed towards the Great Britain. The wind decided it was now a good time to relent, the rain was stopping and the cloud lifting.
As frequently happens the turning of the corner brought the fleet together. The two leaders came to a halt and the rest caught up close. Ben was in front choosing where to drop the marker, timing the expected return and hoping for a pick up in the wind. The return buoy was finally set at the Steam Crane which, according to Ben, Chris just cleared with his mast.
The return journey was blessed with steady breeze and from a due West direction. Chris had turned back first, needing room on the far mark for inside overlap from Paul. The rest of the race saw him pulling very slowly, inch by inch and tack by tack away from Paul. Pete switched from survival to determined mode and he started to clear the third place.
Ben had managed to do all the work today, the rest of us benefited from his generosity.
The results are given with handicap adjusted times for the race which was finished in 38 minutes by the lead boat.
1 Chris 2179
2 Paul Linford 2215
3 Richard Jones 2498
4 Pete 2511
5 Kelvin and Charlie 2603
6 Mark H (DNS)
Margins are in seconds so 36 seconds over 40 minutes between 1st and second. Thirteen seconds between 3rd and 4th.