Last Thursday (August 27) was a superb sailing day; cloudy but with the sun trying to break through, and a strong, but gusty wind – perfect for Race 4 of the Summer Series. We had 7 entrants in 303W Access and 2 entrants in Liberty plus David Mckee in the third Liberty. The wind was shifting between SSE and WSW so the course set was the same as last week – namely Start at the line between Buoy K and the shore, first Mark was D, second Mark B and the third Mark K.
With the wind gaining strength, there was quite a lot of activity amongst the Fleet as they tried to work out how best to place themselves ready to cross the Start Line during the 5-4-1 Starting Sequence of whistles. The result was that the 303 entrants – except young Lenny, who was still pondering whether to become a WS Racer – got across the Start Line soon after the Starting Whistle blew and sailed downwind towards the first Mark (D). There was lots of competition on this first leg with boats changing position. At the Mark D, Fay narrowly led from Brian, Ann, Kim and Lisa. Mike, Steve and David got away within yards of each other, 3 minutes after the 303 start, and unlike last week, there was plenty of wind to enable the Liberties to set about catching the 303 fleet! As last week, Kim started to show her sailing skill by making her way upwind most efficiently, staying on the northerly side of the leg, and those who followed her lead were still within striking distance as they rounded Mark B. Brian meanwhile got caught out by some wind shifts in the middle of the lake and lost distance on the chasing pack and became vulnerable to Catriona and the Liberties. Fay, Ann, Lisa and Owen set off on the Reach to Mark K but Kim held them off and completed the Lap 1, rounding K and crossing the Start/Finish line, some 70 yards ahead. The chasing pack jockeyed for position on the Reach and Brian Mac was starting to make up some of the distance lost on the upwind leg. Following the Liberty start (3 minute handicap) Steve had just managed to keep ahead of Mike and David in their Liberties over the first two laps and half of the third lap. And all three were closing down on Brian and the other 303s chasing Kim on the upwind leg between Marks D and B. Steve and David kept clear of trouble around the Windward Mark B but Mike’s Liberty stalled and allowed them to get away on the Reach. Lisa, Fay, Ann and Owen, with David’s Liberty next, having overtaken Steve on the Reach from Mark B rounded Mark K in that order at the end of Lap 2! Most of the running order seemed to be played out until Mike’s Liberty got entangled with Ann’s 303 as they were closing in on Mark B during the third Lap. Naturally this incident threw Ann off her stride and allowed everybody – bar Lenny who had actually started the Race one lap behind everyone else! – to pass her before she completed Lap 3. Should Mike have done a 720 – did he do one? I don’t know. No protest was received. During Lap 4, Lisa and Owen made a gallant effort to chase down Kim but to no avail.
Result – 1 Kim S; 2 Lisa; 3 Owen; 4 Mike B; 5 Brian Mac; 6 Steve F; 7 Fay W; 8 Ann F and 9 Lenny.