Wow, what a report from our newest Race Officer, Fleur Bryant.
Grab yourself a comfy chair and a cuppa….and read on!
Another day of light wind conditions although, as usual at Chipstead, with a few testing gusts. The wind blew from the opposite direction from last week reversing the common ACD course to DCA. There was a short 5 minute delay getting the race going as WS volunteers struggled to get everyone who wanted to race into a boat (mainly of their choice).
Frustratingly, the wind dropped during the starting sequence which seemed to catch a few people out. But not the ever alert Ann Frewer and David Mason who both made brilliant starts and led the fleet out!! Fortunately, the wind was restored within a minute of the starting gun which Peter Gregory took full advantage of, pushing forward to the front. The 2.4’s sailed a highly competitive 1st lap with Peter Wagner and David Mason fighting nip-and-tuck to the Windward Mark D; a race which Peter Wagner won. They were followed by Kim, leading the 303’s, and Brian Mac in the Liberty, who again this week, sailed a very strong first beat. The remaining 303’s had a frustrating end to their beat when the wind all but died just as they approached the Windward Mark. The result being that even the best helms will find it near impossible to make progress forward or even to steer a chosen course. So well done to all those WS Racers who persevered, it was a testing part of the race for you. Once round the Windward mark, the 2.4’s headed down to Mark C in more extremely close racing, which was a joy to see from the Club House (and Race Hut) and the excellent vantage point above the lake. There was further close racing further back in the fleet with Brian Mac making a very neat overtaking move on Kim. This waterborne tussle became a feature of the race for both of them.
The 2nd lap saw Peter Gregory stretch his legs. Peter Wagner and David Mason continued their dual up the second beat. There was just 9 seconds between them at the Start / Finish gate. Having regained her advantage over Brian Mac, Kim maintained this advantage over the other 303’s up the second beat closely followed by Ann Frewer in her 2.3. Brian then made another move on Kim just before the gate and then on Andy Wallace, sailing straight underneath him (Not literally I hope!! Ed). Fay Watson, not far behind the pack, caught a lovely gust of wind which propelled her towards the gate. Brian Mac continued his strong performance keeping ahead of Kim round the Gybe Mark C. The 303’s remained in a tight bunch, all flooding through the gate in quick succession keeping me on my toes in the Race Box. Frustratingly again, after the 303’s rounded the Windward Mark D, the wind once again dropped significantly. This left Fay and Ann stuck, bobbing about like flotsam on the surface of the lake. Fortunately the lull in the wind didn’t last for long and this enabled them to run down Mark C. Just as they were closing on the Leeward Mark A, Kim made another move on Brian Mac, sailing over the top of him. However, Brian was having none of it and immediately found enough speed to gain the advantage once again.
The 2.4’s were sailing fast enough to warrant doing a 3rd lap within the 30 minute time of the race and Peter Gregory sailed to his usual incredible standard thus forcing him to do a 4th lap. (Well done the 2.4’s! Ed.)
On the beat from Marks A to D, Peter Wagner made a push and got away from David Mason’s grip and Peter maintained this slight advantage, having a great final lap to keep David behind him through to the Finish Line.
A special mention for Mark Cayzer, who once again persevered to finish the race despite the very trying and difficult light wind conditions. Mark, well done, many may have given up, but you showed what a competitive racer you are to finish. The Venture also struggled in the light conditions but similar to Mark, completed the race to gain a finish result. (Well done guys! Ed.)
Another great race. A big thank you to all of you for continuing to come each week. We love seeing how much you have all improved and your competitive spirit leading to close races which is very enjoyable watch from the race box.
The final result is:
- 1st Peter Gregory
- 2nd Peter Wagner
- 3rd Ann Frewer
- 4th David Mason
- 5th Brian Mac
- 6th Kim Sparkes
- 7th Colin Donoghue (crew Bob Turk)
- 8th Fay Watson (crew James Thomas)
- 9th Mike Blatchford
- 10th Malcolm Hill
- 11th Andy Wallace
- 12th Mark Cayzer
- 13th Paul Hagan (crew Peter Coulcher)