Just four Lasers today and no one else. It was close racing though with the boats fighting for position throughout both races. Jake and Chris set a tiny course until OOD Nick asked them to make it larger. Even so, the boats were lapping in just over 6 minutes.
In the first race it was very close for the first 4 laps until Danny and Steve pulled away from Robin and Neil. Danny managed to hold off Steve, and Robin and Neil were swapping places until Robin came out ahead at the finish.
The second race was even closer. Danny hit the start mark and had to do turns allowing Neil and Steve to get a few metres ahead. Danny fought back and playing the wind shifts nearly got the better of Neil and Steve but hit the mark again. Neil got the inside edge on Steve with Robin close behind, but Danny surged back and at the penultimate mark it was Neil, with Steve in pursuit, closely followed by Danny, and Robin not far behind. Neil played the shifts right and crossed the line first but Steve couldn’t hold off Danny who was able to squeeze him out at the finish with Robin taking advantage and 3rd place.
It was pouring with rain and Andrew was ready to call things off with only Danny P wanting to sail, but with 40 minutes to go three more intrepid sailors turned up. We launched in no waves and a F3-4 southeasterly and the rain stopped; things were looking up. Danny led out of the start with Steve in pursuit; Steve tacked off and caught him at the first Mark, but Danny sailed over the top of him and led at the second mark. Steve closed the gap at times but after 4 laps Danny was nearly 30 seconds ahead.
Pete tried to get in the action at the start of the second race and was timing it perfectly, but the wind which had swung to a southerly suddenly increased to F5-6, veered towards a southwesterly, and Pete ended up going to pieces. Danny and Steve headed for the first mark on a screaming reach and were neck and neck. Steve made it round first and Danny went to pieces. The next leg, which in the first race had been a broad reach turned into a beat and Steve pulled away and when Danny retired hurt he cruised to a win, with Pete in second. Danny C in the Topaz was hoping to make it a second ‘first slow fleet boat’ finish but was undone by the wind, but did manage to sail the boat in this week after multiple capsizes.
Danny is second in the slow fleet with Lawrence ahead. Steve leads the fast fleet, followed by Andrew and Robin.
8 boats rigged for the Round the Island race, but with 6 foot waves on the slipway OOD Bob decided to send out the Safety Crew in the Jeanneau and sail a simple triangle in the Bay. Launching was a matter of ‘choose your wave’. Neil decided to choose one of the larger waves and ended up with two halves of a tiller. Fortunately for Neil, Pete decided not to risk his boat, but was happy to risk his tiller and lent it to Neil. The next 5 launches went a little better but with Robin (after helping Pete to launch the rest of us) opting to join Pete on the shore there were 6 boats in the race.
The wind beyond the waves was a manageable Force 4 (for some more than others) and Steve led Neil and Andrew round a short course for a lot of laps.
Bob by then was exhausted with recording all the lap times so asked the Patrol Boat to set a larger course. Robin joined the fray for the second race and was so keen to get going that he started about half a minute early. After being sent back, capsizing, and whatever, he was some way behind and chased, but never caught Jason (maybe there were some more capsizes). At the front, Steve and Andrew were together at the first mark with Neil some way behind. With the wind increasing, but not quite to the force 7 recorded at Nells Point, Steve pulled away and Neil fell back (more capsizing?) so the race finished with Steve first, Andrew second and Neil third.
Nicolas and Danny found the conditions quite exciting and Danny was kind enough to let Aran sail his boat back in. Chris and Aran did sterling work in the Jeanneau but hero of the day award goes to Pete who despite being washed ashore half a dozen or more times by the waves, got us out and in in more or less one piece (and his tiller too).