Finally got the good weather the forecasters have been banging on about for the past 4 days, and it was really good sailing as a result.
Race 1, and a lot of boats were late to the start line so weren't in contention for the lead, so it was us and Peter Wood fighting it out at the front all the way round. Neither boat was able to get away from the other and it was nip and tuck throughout the entire race (and it looked pretty good further back in the fleet too). Peter gifted us an advantage when he gybed involuntarily and hit OL with his boom and very decently did a 360 when I pointed this out, in spite of not having noticed this transgression himself. Then he got a bit of a reward for his righteous behaviour when he picked up a personal 30 degree lift while following us up the beat a bit later on, and made it stick when our kite wineglassed on the next reach. But we still managed to pull back onto his transom by the time we got to OL, so all-in-all a very good race.
Race 2, and half the fleet were definitely over the line when the gun went, but only one (Mo, I think) went back. Martyn and Jez showed us a clean pair of heels up the first beat, but Peter and Mike were practically over the horizon, they must have teleported themselves to the first mark by my reckoning. At the first gybe mark, new members Pete Slack and crew (welcome guys), managed to sit on Martyn's wind for just long enough for me to sail over the top of him and underneath them and get into 2nd place. So we were hunting down Peter & Mike and watching out behind for a Martyn or Badders or Pete Slack comeback, and when we got to OL we were rewarded by the sight of Peter & Mike trotting off to 'N', which wasn't part of the course. "Har har" we cried (very quietly), took kite down, nipped smartly round OL and off up the beat to 'H'. Everyone else followed us, and Martyn & Jez somehow got ahead of us up that one, but they decided to go high without the kite on the reach to E, presumably to avoid the shallows around 'F' which were in the way. We just stuck the kite up and sailed straight across the shallows, pausing only to tip the boat over to about 45 degrees when the centreboard started coming up and we heard graunchy noises (this reduced the amount of fixed rudder in the water) and we got ahead again. Cheers cheers. Then down to 'P' and then upwind again to 'S'. Then Martyn disappeared off the radar, apparently because the trapeze handle broke while Jez was using it and it all went a bit splashy, so we sailed around the course a few more times watching as Peter & Mike gradually got closer and closer, and then we finished.
Great fun, but a bit scary how fast Peter and Mike were going with the North sails.