A forecast for light wind was belied by a 10-15 knot breeze running down Grafham Reservoir. The forecast for the next day was for less, thus the race officer took the decision to run four of the planned six races on the Saturday.
The first race got away cleanly, as did each race of the weekend. The RO used the black flag for all bar the first race, as a result of over-keenness in the RS800 fleet rather than the 600s. Richard Broughton, heeling slightly to windward was faster upwind and rounded the windward mark first. Despite some place changes with John Charles and Mark Cooper, Richard took the first race from Mark. The second race resulted in a similarly close finish, with the same result, Adam Peak also 4th again.
In the third race, the wind picked up a little and Mark tracked a gust to the left on the run and took a 100m lead. This was however short lived as his halyard broke, leading some later discussion about the merits of Kevlar and Dyneema. Chris Boshier, a keen Contender sailor, also had a gear failure at his first 600 event as his halyard cleat detached from the mast. This was put down to a teething problem and soon fixed. After Richard Brougham dumped in on the run, the third race went to John Charles. Whilst the air temperature was warm for a “winter’s” event, the wind-chill started to get to the competitors by the time of the forth race. John Charles managed to miss his trapeze hook and retired with a broken tiller extension. Richard Broughton showed consistency to take this race and virtually wrap up the event.
The second day dawned with the burner noise from a hot air balloon, perhaps not auspicious for a sailing event. The first race got away in around 4 knots, again with a clean start under black flag. John Charles was rolled by Adam Peak at the start and tacked right into stronger breeze, thus gaining a lead held to the end of the race. As the fleet came onto the last leg of the trapezoid course, the breeze vanished. After taking an interminable time to cross the line, we headed back to the club. This took some doing as we were by the dam, the hiking boat fleets having landed and packed away their boats by the time the trapeze fleet made it back.
This event was also the final double scoring event in the winter series. This consisted of the SailJuice Warm-up Series plus the RS600 Winters. In a world where natural justice pervades, Peter Nelson would have won as he put in some fine performances to be top RS boat in the SailJuice series. Unfortunately Peter could not make the Winters, allowing John Charles to take the series.
|1st||867||Richard Broughton||Grafham Water SC||1||1||2||1||2||5|
|2nd||702||John Charles||Leigh on Sea SC||3||3||1||DNC||1||8|
|3rd||963||Mark Cooper||Burghfield SC||2||2||DNC||2||4||10|
|4th||895||Adam Peak||Alton Water SC||4||4||3||3||3||13|
|5th||9||Alistair Forman||Grafham Water SC||5||DNC||4||4||6||19|
|6th||941||Chris Boshier||Thorpe Bay YC||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||5||26|