I hope this means you’ll also be happy with having me again next week! With only 3 races left of the season, it is still all to play for, especially at the top of the leaderboard, where a number of racers could still win the series overall.
Firstly, I hope that you found the group discussion prior to the race with Mike and Peter beneficial. We will make sure that all the information from that is put into a document prior to next season as a reminder for those that were there and for info for those that weren’t. I think the most important thing to remember about sailing and the WS Racing is that, ‘Everybody should be safe and enjoy their day and what happens on the race course, stays on the race course’. We’re never going to all agree after an incident on the water but let’s leave it there.
Anyway, back to this week, 13 boats were on the start line with lots of familiar faces including the very familiar face of Mr. David Mckee (303 Yellow #6) joining us for the first time in quite a while. The start went smoothly with everyone clear but more importantly, it was competitive and you were all really close to the start line, just not over it! This lead to a competitive first leg, particularly given the near perfect wind conditions that we had. At the first mark (B), there was a lot of bunching but you all made it safely round. Here is a video starting just after the Start Gong. (Great sight! Ed)
The 2nd leg saw the battle begin between David Mason (2.4m #109) and Mike Blatchford (Martin #125). At the end of the first leg, there was just 4 seconds separating them. The 303’s were having an equally competitive battle with a minute separating 6 boats. (Great racing everyone. Ed)
And here is a video of the group just behind the early leaders as you ran downwind from Mark C to Mark D and rounded D on your first lap: (Very nearly a capsize from David Mckee at 1min 35secs! Ed)
The wind picked up in the 2nd lap leading to some very quick laps, particularly from the larger boats. Mike Blatchford had the bit between his teeth and forged ahead of David Mason, pushing and pushing to extend that lead with every lap. From 4 seconds on the first lap, the gap had widened to 44 seconds in the 2nd lap. Whilst the gap widened slightly within the access fleet, there was still only 1 and a half minutes separating the top 5 303s.
Here are a few more photos taken during the race:
Ten of the 13 starters were able to go on and complete a third lap, another quick lap with the wind maintaining its strength. Mike continued to turn the screw, increasing his lead to a minute and a half. Malcolm was not letting them have it all their own way catching them up considerably on the 3rd lap. The rest of the 303s finished on lap 3 still competitively racing and keeping Peter and I on our toes in the race hut getting all your finish times so close together.
Just 3 boats completed a fourth lap, Mike again increased his lead over David. Malcolm pushed David all the way to the line closing the gap to just 8 seconds.
Another great race on a beautiful day. This changed the top 3 of the series overall so there is still so much to play for in the last 2 races of the season (And keep an eye out for the Lady from the Reeds! Ed) .There are a number of racers with 4 finishes to their same during the series. Five finishes qualifies you for an overall result so if you can make it down to one of the two final races, we’d love to see you. I can’t quite believe we are down to the final two races, it has been a memorable season with the most consistent high numbers of entrants per race that I can remember. Thank you to all of you for making it so special. See you next week!
- Mike Blatchford – Martin
- Malcolm Hill (and his crew Douglas) – Martin
- Martin Norman – Liberty
- David Mason – 2.4m
- Mark Cayzer and John Masters – 303
- Peter Wagner – 2.4m
- Fay Watson and James Thomas – 303
- Jake Jones – 303
- Louise McSweeney – 303
- Tom Phillips and Peter Moore – 303
- Keith Eeles – Liberty
- Imogen Fletcher and Colin Barnes – 303
And in the afternoon some of you stayed on for more fun and games on the water….some of which was caught on camera :