So with about half of the fleet away on holiday, on OD duty or sailing yachts at the coast, we had a mere 7 boats on the start line on Sunday morning. But at least they actually were on the start line, as opposed to heading-towards the start line like last week.
We opted for a port tack start, which went wrong when Richard and Karen parked up on starboard by the pin, so in consequence we were last across the line. We went left, looking for the wind, but it rapidly became apparent that right was good. In fact it was one of those beats where you got lifted a lot on starboard (ie, going left), so you had to go right whenever the opportunity presented itself as it didn't happen very often. Anyhoo, we were nearly overtaken by a Fred on the way, but we pulled back a bit on the leaders and at the windward mark (C) it was Richard and Karen first, and me and Paul 2nd last, only Eugene and Graham behind us. Next up was a run to 'M'. Most of the fleet got into a you're-not-going-over-the-top-of-me mindset and went high, Richard/Karen, me/Paul and Eugene/Graham being the only boats to go low. Well we (and Eugene) overtook Richard/Karen on the run by virtue of a following gust and some cool kite playing, and all the boats which went high lost out, so at the bottom mark we were first and Richard/Karen were 2nd last (which seemed a bit tough). Next leg was to 'X', and Pete/Richard who had gone high to 'M' decided to go low to 'M', and lost miles and then when the reach closed up found it was too close for the kite. Then a quick beat to 'P' and a reach to 'N', run to 'K', reach to 'OL and start again. By this stage we had a good lead and were religiously going right as much as possible on the beat, and nothing exciting really happened after that. Although the wind filled in very nicely on the next reach from 'P' to 'N', which meant that we were charging towards the rest of the fleet who were doing 'M' to 'X', everyone with kites up, everyone on the edge of control, yeah that bit was pretty good. So we won that one, Eugene/Graham 2nd, Pete/Richard 3rd.
After lunch it was a bit windier, and although we had a decent start we were rapidly overtaken by Pete/Richard who were able to point higher and go faster, and seemed very keen on staying upwind of us and on the same tack. So we spent the entire race trying to split tacks with them and looking at their transom from various distances (sometimes needing a telescope). This time it was a beat to 'C', tricky close reach to 'B', beam reach to 'Y' (wooooo, excellent!), run to 'N', beam reach to 'T' (wooooo again!), beat to 'X', reach to 'K' (more wooooo!), round OL and start again. While splitting tacks with Pete on the next beat we let Eugene get past, but on the way to 'B' we spotted a gust building up by the wall, went high for it and rolled him just before the mark. So Pete/Richard won that one by a country mile, we ended up 2nd, Eugene 3rd. Verdict: great course but must get the boat going faster in those moderate winds.
In hindsight I should have done the 3rd race in the Fireball, but I put it away and had to sit and watch Tom break my RS300 instead. With the best wind of the day, I reckon that one would have been really good fun.
Ah well, roll on next week for the further adventures of the numpty fleet