Early Bird Finale – 22nd May 2022

There was lots of sun but no wind when the sailors turned up today. As befitted the final race of the season 8 boats competed for the series prizes with Danny and Andrew E making strenuous efforts to rearrange other commitments to make an appearance in order to qualify in the series. Series leader Neil was missing as was Nick Speller, leading the slow fleet, who needed the points to qualify.

By the time the boats launched, a tidy F3-4 had set in from the south-west. Nigel’s small course was expanded to suit, but Steve in his RS700 still managed 5 laps in under 40 minutes. Even so he was behind all 4 Lasers on handicap with Danny well ahead, Andrew just getting the better of Jake after close racing throughout, and Robin in 4th.

As the wind had swung to the west, NIgel reversed the course and extended the run for Steve in the second race to give him a chance to make the most of his spinnaker and he pulled ahead promisingly on the first beat along the shore in very shifty winds. With Danny capsizing after catching his buoyancy aid on a tack all seemed to be going well for the RS700 until a big windshift and capsize at the first mark letting all the Lasers past. Passing Lasers on a spinnaker reach is a challenge, but after nearly capsizing on Andrew and Danny Steve managed to pull ahead; by then he had lost too much time. Other capsizes followed – Andrew and Basil – and the final result was almost a repeat of the first race but with Jake in 2nd, well ahead of Andrew in 3rd. Special mention must go to Basil who finished two races for the first time in a creditable 8th place.

Two firsts gave Danny the series win with Neil dropping to 2nd and Andrew taking 3rd place ahead of Robin. In the slow fleet no one managed to sail the 9 races out of 20 required to qualify so no prizes there. But a challenge to all the novices out there. If any one person had started 9 races they would have been crowned the Slow Fleet Winner and been awarded a £20 Force 4 voucher. £15 and £10 vouchers are also up for grabs for the second and third places, so turn up and win! Next Sunday is a Down Channel Cruise and the Summer Series starts the week after with a race round Sully Island.