No gale! No rain! We even managed a little bit of sunshine. Saturdayís race was run around high water, so the tide did not prove too much of a problem either on a course confined to Cantley Reach, but with an extra half loop at the top end to try to keep things interesting for the competitors. This decision unintentionally caused a small panic on the line, when it was realised they didnít have any boards for a number 3 buoy... One was hastily improvised with a sheet of A4 paper, a red marker pen and a plastic sleeve. Whew!
Everyone seemed very line-shy and no-one got what you might call a good start. As might be expected, Anne had the fastest elapsed time and she was also far enough ahead to take the race on corrected time. Shruff, sporting their topsail, would have been only 20 seconds behind, were it not for a time penalty incurred by hitting the top mark, but they still managed second place despite this. Notably, Moonlark, one of the smaller boats, came in a creditable 5th place, well ahead of the other high handicap yachts, which understandably struggled more in the conditions.
Then it was time for some fun. Club boat agility trials! The idea was for teams of two in the club dory to negotiate a course of buoys, without hitting any, and then collect a numbered ball from a basket at the end. The catch being that the person steering was blindfolded and reliant on instructions from their team mate, who had control of the throttle. Sarah and Abby Hanna were bounced into going first and were then followed by the Rheads, who made it look very easy and soon had people queuing up for a turn.
Both participants and spectators seemed to enjoy the event. Added interest was provided when one of the buoys decided to move itself and had to be repositioned by Bob, acting as self-appointed guard boat. The event ended, of course, with the assembled crowd insisting the Commodore and Vice Commodore have a go, but they disappointed spectators with a clear round. The winners proved to be Simon Miles and Chris Wilshire, who picked out the highest numbered ball to narrowly beat the Rheads. They duly received certificates of incompetence at the prize giving.
Sunday, it was back to the racing, with an ebb tide all day and not quite as much wind as forecast. The OOD decided the factory was a better option than Langley Wood in the conditions and set a course half way up Cantley Reach, then down to around Hardley Mill, this time omitting a third buoy! Again, Anne was fastest over the water and on corrected time, but Jessie May was not far behind on either count.
In the afternoon, the buoys were pulled in to make quite a short course, but one with a challenging tack against the strong tide. Again, Anne went round fastest, but she was beaten to the trophy by Brigand. No matter to Kelvin, as he had already done enough to take the Jack Hunt Memorial Trophy back home with him.
It remained only for the prize giving and the Raffola before the sun came out and it turned into a lovely afternoon, just as we left for home.
Photos can be seen