On May 13th both races were contested, over a planned four laps, by 14 members sailing 9 boats.
Race one, got off to a lively start, in three separate tranches, the two Laser 2000’s, the Hartley 12.2 and the Quba take front stage, closely followed by a Sailfish 18, the Areaz 20 and the Gamba. Taking it rather leisurely and doing their run in from nearer Lo Pagan than the start was Mistral, the other Sailfish 18 in the fleet.
The course included a tricky leg near the moored ferry making all boats aware that they needed to get their tactics right.
Soon a pattern established with the Lasers taking the lead followed by the single handed Hartley and Quba, then the Gamba, a Sailfish, the Araez finally the second Sailfish.
The really fluky wind, probably caused by the coming off the shore and being deflected by the taller buildings, continually changing direction and going from 0.5 knots up to nearly 12 knots, caused havoc as some sailors got stuck in the dead zones whilst others just 20 yards away seemed to get onto the gusts and move up through the field.
The finish was a close run thing between the two Lasers who were separated by just 22 seconds.
Race two, what a different story! Over the same course but, with a warning from the race officer at the briefing, to expect some serious wind gusts was, in everybody’s opinion, one of the strangest they had experienced
It started with a very close race to get to the start line first with Brian and Jim on a Laser 2000 making some pretty nifty turns to get across just before Tug and Diane on the other 2000. However, excitement got the better of both of them, and they crossed before the start gun and had to return and start again. However they soon caught up with fleet and soon a similar pattern to the first race began to establish.
All of the boats rounded the second buoy pretty much together and then a strange phenomenon happened, the wind dropped completely but the waves continued to build and then the wind erupted from the east slowly veering to the south and increasing to 15 knots plus.
Sirocco had to retire after lap one as she was being sailed single handed, heeling badly and taking water over the cockpit. She had to be helped onto her mooring by the support boat. On the next lap and with boats scattered around everywhere, the two Lasers and the Hartley were disqualified for missing one of the marks in their attempts to try and keep upright, leaving the field wide open for those who could manage to keep their boats going.
The race officer wisely shortened the course to three laps, although no one heard the signal and continued to do a forth.. Eventually all boats finished, but Mistral had her foresail jam, could not pick up her mooring and landed on the reef. Again the support boat came to her assistance and towed her off.
The heroes of the day, the support boat crew Martyn Bisofsky and Julian Singleton. The baddy of the day the weird wind conditions.