The forecast was dire and it certainly put off a few, but 12 optimistic sailors still turned up. Rutland was looking beautiful, particularly if you wanted to ride a bike round it for the day. Prior to today the class events organiser was looking like he would get his wish come true as Rutland SC planned to put all fleets on one course and would be sailing upwind-downwind courses, however somehow Jenny Ball managed to persuade the RO that 2 courses could be laid and we were back to trapezoid (well to a fashion as the wind had other ideas). After a short delay we managed to sail or paddle up to the sailing area and we started race 1 in about 5 knots of wind (maybe 3); soon after the start the wind dropped a bit. Close sailing was had by all, Chris Tillyer & Stuart Snell led the fleet round with Stuart doing most of the leading, Jenny soon realised there was no tide and almost caught Chris towards the end of the race.
Race 2 & even less wind. Many were caught out by how quickly race 2 started and were some time away from the line at the gun, Chris & Stuart again led the snail pace charge with the wind at almost zero knots or less at times. By the end of lap 1 the race was shortened with Stuart 1st, Chris 2nd and Gordon Duece 3rd showing off yet another new Sprint 15. That was it for day 1 and we paddled, got a tow or just sailed back in.
Day 2 and technically more wind but still only around the 5 knots. Race 3 and someone was over the line at the start, it was Steve Roberts who had travelled all the way from Dee SC. Whilst everyone headed left Steve who had returned to re-start headed right and initally looked to be nowhere, however 20 mins is a long time in sailing and Steve got more wind and lead the fleet round mark 1, close behind were the usual suspects. It was not going to be Steve's race as at the leward mark his tiller came away from the tiller bar. Stuart & Chris took full advantage and took the charge for a 2nd lap. Many shifts later & Chris had a tidy lead over Stuart & Jenny. By the end of lap 3 it finished Chris, Jenny & Stuart.
Race 4 was started straight away and by mark 1 Jenny had a slender lead from a close bunch of 6 others who pursued Jenny like a pack of wolves. Jenny held her nerve down the run and sailed into fresh breeze. We didnt see her again. Many place changes throughout the race due to sizeable wind shifts. Just about everyone held 2nd at some point with George Love, Gordon & Kevin Kirby all having ago. By the finish Chris had managed to pull up to 2nd with George 3rd & Pete Richardson 4th. Jenny almost managed to lap the tail enders and the time sponsored by GJW recorded her lead as 10 minutes on 2nd place boat.
Race 5, and its was starting to look close between 1st 2nd & 3rd, Stuart clearly was not impressed with Marconi sailors winning the first 2 races and led round to record his third win. 2nd went to Jenny who managed to gain 2 places in the last 100M with George 3rd.
Race 6, Stuart & Jenny led the charge with many places changes further down the fleet. You could look good one minute then be crying the next. Kevin, George, Ed Tuite Dalton our chairman and Gordon swapped places. Unknown to yours truly Kevin managed some magic, caught Jenny and bagged a 2nd place, Jenny was 3rd.
We were all glad of a shower, tea & cake after 4 races in one day. Thank you to the race team who dealt with the day very well considering the terrible wind conditions.
At the prizegiving Steve Roberts was awarded the GJW Insurance sponsored spot price for his race 3 antics, well done Steve and Stuart Snell our worthy winner to thank Rutland SC for a great event. It's a lovely location, and the tide is always in.
Thank you to Fenella Miller for walking 3 miles down the lake to take some great shots of us all.
Next event is the class's 40th anniversary national championships. See you all there.
Full Series Results available here