There was a good turnout for the first race of the season and there was a varying and at times very fresh breeze from the south south-west. We welcomed Peter Jackson, who has been to our club events a couple of times last year and now has joined us.
Before we put our boats in the water we had a big problem as the launching platform on the west bank was adrift as ‘the tide’ had come up about a metre with the recent rain.
Our cunning plan to prevent the vandals doing this by chaining the platform to the strings of the steps backfired as all of the fixings were underwater!
However with sterling efforts by all 7 competitors, the platform was brought back to the bottom of the steps hauled to the top, had a new post fitted and was then relaunched with some difficulty, but also a lot of hilarity. Marks for the windward leeward course were set and after a minute’s silence to remember Dennis Moss, who died on the previous weekend, the racing started in A or B rig.
Les Thorn started the season well with a win from Martin Crysell, who was in fine form and he took the next 4 races. During this time the wind had increased and either B or C rigs were the order of the day. There were some technical problems with Peter Jackson having to drop out. He very kindly started us and kept the score as well as making sure there was no time lost between races! Peter Dunne’s mast on his STARKERS collapsed at the bottom of his B rig, as a result of the massive slamming gusts. Mark Mortimore also struggled when sailing his UPROAR just an A rig. However he took some good photographs of the afternoon’s racing, which are now on the gallery.
During the break for lunch we had a committee meeting and had some interesting discussions about gazebos, market stalls and tents. We confirmed that we shall be adopting the DF 95 class for the Wednesday morning events in the summer. There was also discussion about the possibility of an additional shipping container to accommodate our dinghy and trolley and a majority agreement to contact Thorpe Park to ask for permission. Also in view of the tree cutting monies spent last year and the potential for replacing the gazebo etc, Martin had drafted a letter to go to the M&S district for some financial help from the MYA’s district fund.
After lunch, there was plenty of fast sailing off the wind when you were able to get into the right gust stream. On the beat you needed to get on the right side of the shifts and also miss the holes in the wind, which was now blowing a little bit more over the right shoulder. There were plenty of very close finishes throughout the fleet and several between Roger and Martin, with Roger taking most wins. As well as Peter’s B rig disaster he also had great success in winning the last race much to everyone’s delight.
On merit Martin was the winner with a 15 points sailing his PRIME NUMBER followed by Roger with 21 sailing his UP and Les sailing Hugh McAdoo’s old PARADOX 26. More important are the handicap results with a win for Les Thorn with Martin 2nd and Peter Dunne 3rd.