12 competitors took to the water at our third summer TT of 2021 at Draycote Water. There was a lower than usual turnout from the local fleet with only 3 home boats, but we welcomed 9 visitors, all of us sailing Una rig. As the forecast had predicted, we had very light and fluctuating winds of around 5 knots which created some challenges for our Race Officer, Tim Case and his assistant Nicky Wilcox, who had kindly stood in at very short notice. They managed to keep their cool and set us a trapezodial course and we were soon racing.
In race 1 it was Liam Thom who took an early lead which he managed to hold in the very fickle winds. As we virtually drifted around the course the Race Officer decided to shorten the race to one lap, giving Liam his first win, followed by Jenny Ball and Steve Sawford. It was a frustrating time for many of the fleet with holes and windshifts appearing at just the wrong time for them.
Race 2 started in a similar vein, with Liam again managing to get to the windward mark first, closely followed by Steve Sawford. Steve managed to overtake Liam on the next leg of the course and held the lead for the first lap. On the second lap Liam managed to claw back the lead, only to be overtaken again by Steve on the line to take the race win.
In the continuing light winds, Race 3 got under way with 4 boats reaching the windward mark, well ahead of the rest of the fleet, creating their own breakaway group. Steve again was in the lead, closely followed by Paul Craft and Liam Thom each trying to psych each other out as they went round the first lap. This may have affected Liam as he had a disappointing second beat where he dropped back out of contention to 4th behind Ed Tuite Dalton with Paul Craft overtaking Steve Sawford to take the win.
With all to play for in the fourth and final race, the wind virtually disappeared after the 5 minute gun, leaving those some distance away from the start line a big challenge to get there in time. As a result, Liam got a good start, with Paul and Ed following close behind, but Steve and Jenny were nowhere to be seen and reportedly taking nearly 6 minutes to cross the start line after the gun had gone. Liam led the way over the 2 laps to secure his second win, followed by Paul and George Love.
Liam was our overall winner of the event, with Steve Sawford second and Paul Craft third.
It was good to be back out on the water and we were lucky to get 4 races in, thanks to the efforts of our race officer holding his nerve and turning around the races as quickly as he could.
Report by Ed Tuite Dalton
Full Series Results available here