For the 8th and penultimate race in the GW Smith series twelve boats came out to race in a skittish wind roughly westerly in direction, that at times gusted high enough to provide a plane or two but around the upstream mark was sometimes easterly sometimes westerly and everywhere in between, and sometimes not there at all.
Tim Medcalf, guest helming Fair Kop with Barry Mourant at the sharp end started well and was never headed. Behind them John and Zoe Adams in their Merlin had a running battle with Charles Fox and Rob Blakebrough in N18 Genevieve and although the Adams managed to finish ahead on the water, Charles and Robert took the race on handicap. Behind these three there was much place changing, probably reflecting the highly variable wind, but Stewart Colley in his Laser came through from ninth at the end of the first laptop to finish fourth on the water and third on handicap just ahead of Graham King, in his Laser who himself was ninth at the end of the second lap.
Overall there are nine who have qualified with four races sailed and two more, Stewart Colley and Ros Warwick-Haller also able to do so if they sail the last race of the season. With his victory in this race, his fourth in the series, Charles cannot be caught. Ken Duffel is still second and the Adams third, but there is still potential for places to change throughout the fleet so the final story will not be told until the end of the last race next week.
Thanks to Nicky Johnson and her team for a great supper to bring the evening’s activities to a very satisfactory end.
Note that the last race in the series will be at the earlier time of 7pm for the main fleet and 7:02pm for the National 18s to fit a decent length race in before the light fades. Time for a last fond farewell to the summer so let’s have a great turnout and hope that the wind blows fair.