CASTOR AND POLLUX SHOW THEIR COLOURS
On this first Sunday under the new sign of Gemini, nature had the last word.
Even though the race crew were down in good time racing was delayed by tractor training. Louis Mok eventually got the hang of launching the committee boat but this will be an ongoing problem.
For the first race there was a moderate South -Westerly breeze. Six boats beat their way towards the club-house on their way to No7 while Brian Davies took the route through the islands and Peter Hampshire hung back to give them all a chance. By the second mark the fleet was getting sorted, Duncan Adams in the lead but closely followed by Geoff Marshall. Kev Milton had sensibly chosen to do his capsizes out of sight of the author and was well down the fleet.
The race developed well, a number of capsizes quickly righted by their helms. For the first race of the new series there were no novices here and all were encouraged by the sand martins and swallows wheeling overhead (no guls in sight). The gods were not impressed. This was all too easy – let’s break the halliard on Duncan’s Phantom, and how about the universal joint on Peter’s tiller. Later in the race the wind eased slightly and there were no further retirements. Kev Last looked like he may have got the honours, but we await the results.
By the time of the second race the wind had veered (or is it backed?) south and freshened, so a new course was chosen to avoid No7 and the long wind shadows that had caused so many capsizes in race one. Only 6 boats started and all were reasonably close together as they rounded the windward mark and sped towards No5. Duncan Adams rounded the mark first but extended his lead by heading back up the lake via No6 while all the others rounded the island and beat back via No4. The race for second place was between Ray Kemish, Kev Milton and Kev Last, with Brian Davies and Peter Hampshire a little further back. (the photo shows Ray calling for water at the bank).
The course demanded a loop around Nos 1, 2 and F before sailing downwind to No3 and back through the gate. Only 4 boats completed the first lap. Kev Milton and Brian capsized close to No1. Kev declined help from the safety boat and after assistance to get righted Brian retired. Kev then decided that he did need help and the safety boat was pre-occupied in helping him. Meanwhile Kev Last and Duncan Adams were in trouble, and the decision was made to abandon the race and go to their assistance. Fortunately both Duncan and Kev Last sorted themselves out but Kev Milton’s Phantom had to be towed in. The lack of a result was a shame for those who managed to keep going but highlights the difficulty of mixing experts and novices.