British summertime arrived with a bang yesterday, with sunshine and a very sensible amount of wind. Another thing that arrived with a bang was Pete Badham and Steve, only in their case it was just the sound of the forestay parting company with the deck. So that's what the little split-ring is for.... With another fireball still ashore sans crew and Peter & Ellen upside down, we were down to four boats when the start gun went.
The line being a bit biased, ie you crossed it a 90 degrees, everyone wanted to be by the committee boat, which led to a bit of congestion at that point. I had spotted Jane & Pat coming in from a jaunty angle upwind, and Bob & Paul sidling up from below, so we held back and watched as Peter & Paul wandered into the filling in the sandwich, and the whole lot then charged across the line a good 5 seconds early. The OD delivered his verdict - "You're all over except Mike" as we sauntered past and made a decent getaway.
Up to the orange thing parked by OL, although for a true beat you'd have had to have parked it on the patio of the clubhouse. Then a can-we-can't-we 3-sail reach to D. We 2-sailed out to X every time before hoisting the kite, whereas others did variously well just 2-sailing the whole thing - depending on how windy it was at the time. Gybe at D and 2-sail reach to Y, then a decent dead run to B and a hideous fetch back to M to start the next lap. Peter & Paul had some good reaches and were close enough at M that they overtook us on the next beat, but we rolled them on the next leg to D by virtue of going higher (for X) while they went straight there again. I think our detour worked, as we ended the leg with a bigger lead than we started it. After that, we just kept doing all the same things - go inshore on the beat and go via X on the reach, and we kept a decent lead. Bob & Paul were keeping up well in 3rd place, and Pete & Steve came through the rest of the fleet to claim 4th after a late start.
Sadly I was too broken to do the afternoon, so somebody else will have to explain that one. I did gather that Peter & Ellen, with boat freshly back from the menders, were in a collision with a Dart and will be taking the boat straight back there again. Doh!
Then later we did the AGM and prize-giving thing. Upshot, new fleet captain is Paul Anthony (cheers cheers), new fleet champions and deserved winners of most of the tinware are Peter Wood and David Merritt . Bob & Paul hoovered up most of the Silver fleet prizes. Many thanks to outgoing FC Pat Collison and the entire rest of the committee, all of whom are staying on for another year. Well done everyone!