Race report last week (with thanks to Richard Jones)

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Despite the glorious blue skies of the photos, the whole of Club racing was poorly attended. Indeed keen the Flying Fifteens could only muster three teams, which would be less than half (!!) our recent regular turnouts. Our fleet day started with some shovelling of silt from the jetty while Admiral Firth and Commodore ("three more days to go”) Tinsley adjusted the jetty to get it optimised.

Mike and Peter had their lovely new boat – collected from Gretna Green during the week – and now carry the mantle of “newest boat in the fleet”! FF GBR4027 is a stunner – absolutely beautiful and looks hardly used. It’s an Ovington Mk X with carbon liner, built 2-3 years ago for Bobby Salmond and finished by Phil Evans with a Goacher Sails rig.

Nick and Maxine were PRO’s for the day, and so the race organisation was flawless – although the same could not be said for the sailors. Richard and Howard were heard hailing the PRO team to ask when the FF start was to happen, only to get the reply “well, your first one started three minutes ago”, then Mike and Peter started after them! John and Helen stopped at the first mark for a rest and waited there for the others to catch up… and then sailed circles around them for the rest of the race. We had 12-25mph of wind with strong gust patterns and constantly shifting conditions. To be honest, it was all pretty testing!

Race two got away in a bit more orderly fashion, and occasionally it did look like a three boat race. It was a nervy kind of day for Mike and Peter to take their first race in the new boat, so they are forgiven – but John and Helen were superb , frequently, and playfully, waiting the other side of the gusts for the competition to catch up and have a tussle. It must be said that there were some spectacular three sail reaches to be had, even if most of us looked as if we had arm extensions as we entered the bar afterwards!