Friday dawned sunny and warm giving great hopes for the establishment of a steady sea breeze. The race officer had the fleet launching at 10am when there was no breeze, with some sailors paddling out to catch the ebb tide. It was not long before the sea breeze appeared confirming what a great bloke Mark Darling is (just one beer please).
Race 2 started cleanly at the second time of asking, after a last minute postponement just before the starting gun to cater for a late wind shift.
The fleet split quickly into the "shore-huggers" who went tight to avoid the tide and the "intrepids" who threw caution to the wind and went out to sea despite the tidal situation. The result appeared to be a draw as the two fleets arrived 200 yards downwind of the windward mark at roughly the same time but the final 200 metres favoured the huggers. The tide at the windward mark caught out a number of boats. On the downwind leg Jeremy Davy and Martin Huett gybed off to port and took the lead from Dave Lucas sailing with his son Harry. Both boats held their lead to the finish with Jeremy maintaining his lead.
Race 3 started on time after a 25 degree course correction to accomodate the arrival of the proper sea breeze. Shane MacCarthy and Adam Froggart from Ireland started at the left side of the start line went out to sea and led the fleet around the windward mark and the held on for the rest of the race to take the line honours.
Race 4 started with a proper sea breeze and all the crews could use the straps and get comfy. It again got away first time, with more boats this time choosing the out to sea course. They benefited from a lift and lea-bow effect as they approached the windward mark but again boats got caught out by the tide as they attempted the rounding. New-coming amateur to the fleet Vince (Wally) Hoary came in late on port and tacked underneath Richard Lovering and Matt Alverado but failed to make the rounding. Nathan Batchelor and Richard Rigg led around the windward mark and was untouchable for the rest of the race followed at the finish by Graham Vials and Chris Turner with the two Ians (Pinnell and Cadwallader) in third.
The race officer plans 4 races on Saturday to catch up the series. The fleet only has the Championship Dinner to navigate with clear heads.
Report by Simon Thompson (GBR 4080)
Results can be found at HISC