Many of the usual suspects arrived to participate in the first two races of the 2022 season. The conditions were nearly perfect…the SW wind could have been 3 to 5 knots brisker but nevertheless we were able to get the Practice Race off promptly at 1055 with 7 entrants and they all completed one lap of the triangular course (A; C; Distance Marker Flag) in a reasonable time. There were a mix of Liberty, 303 Single-handed and 303 Double-handed dinghies.
Since this was the first time we had used this short-race format, the race organisers in the Race Hut were learning the ropes as much as the helms and crews on the water. With instructions booming over the water from the Tannoy, the fleet assembled along a relatively short Start Line (between Buoy K and the Distance Marker Flag) and were OFF at 11.20. There were some comments at lunch about “hanging about” waiting for the next Race to start. Which was an understandable reaction/observation but the Race Hut did recognise that fact and since everyone was READY to go again after the first Challenge race the second Challenge race was started at 11.30 rather than the published 11.40. Ed
With a stiffening breeze, the second race was decided to be two laps (rather than the single lap races previously) and that gave time for a bit more competitive sailing at the front of the fleet.
The first lap saw Peter Wagner (Liberty #25 Blue) ahead of Martin Norman (Liberty #22 Yellow) and Derek Preston (Liberty #23 White). This compared to the order in the first race being: Derek, Martin and Peter! But by the end of the second lap the final result was: Peter, Derek and Martin followed by Jim McEwen.
Whilst Kim Sparkes (303S Sail #2 Blue) had finished the first Challenge race snapping at the transom of Derek’s liberty, due to her boat suffering an equipment failure just prior to the start, she started a long way behind the rest of the fleet in the second race and came in 4th after Bob Fisher (#9 Blue) 1st, Tom Phillips (#11 Blue) 2nd and Geof Taylor (#4 Yellow) 3rd. Imogen Fletcher (303d #7 White) with her crew Angie Flory took 1st place in 303 double-handed race.
Here is a video of the first Challenge race
Congratulations to all the racers and many thanks to the volunteers for all their assistance.