Unseasonably dreich weather greeted almost 20 boats as the club ran an expanded Sunday morning racing program comprising fleet racing for Lasers and Merlin Rockets, with the addition of a combined Topper and Handicap start.
Given the essentially northerly wind, OOD Peter Fryer opted for a simple port-handed up/down course.
A handful of Lasers started proceedings with Tom Low taking charge and leading from gun to gun. Behind him, Kaan Yargici and Jim Hamilton swapped places for a few laps with Kaan taking second place in the final reckoning.
The new Topper and Handicap fleet had a select but enthusiastic turn out. David and Deb Baker crewed their Albacore to a handsome win with the young guns of Matty Key and Henry Medcalf dueling for the remaining places in their Toppers. Matty won out comfortably but a return match has been agreed.
A field of 10 Merlin Rockets came under starter’s orders. Team Impey’s ‘Warhorse’, keen to canter with her stablemates, was an early faller while transitioning between the parade ring and the race track. Nothing that shedding a few buckets of water couldn’t fix however, and she was soon right side up, jostling for position on the line.
The windward mark saw team Harris (‘Passing Cloud’) take the lead followed by team P-J (‘Masquerade’) and team Medcalf (‘Samanda’). Team Mason (‘Bambusa’) overhauled the Medcalfs on the second lap.
The downwind leg highlighted those crews who are still too diminutive to handle a spinnaker pole. It is expected that many will be receiving some paternal instruction in this dark art so that speed is maximised for the next up/down course.
At the line, Richard Harris took a comfortable win with the next three boats evenly socially distanced in the order that was established earlier in the race. There had been some tussles further down the fleet with team McLaughlin (‘Tosca’) emerging best of the rest.
As ever, many thanks to the volunteers without whom the racing would not happen, Peter and Pauline Fryer in the box, Andrew and Alden Horwitz in the patrol boat, Florian Kruger managing the foreshore traffic, and Nicky Johnson for running the pop up ‘Verandah Bar’.
This week’s pictures were provided by Carolyne Vines and Jonathan Key, thanks to both!