Grey skies and a lively breeze greeted 15 FF crews at Datchet on Saturday morning. Race officer, Philip Tinsley (Datchet’s Commodore) indicated the Sunday forecast was uninviting, and proposed 4 races on Saturday – “just in case”. He set a windward/leeward course, to ensure the shifty gusts did not ruin the reaches to a gybe mark.
The first race was very keenly contested, setting the tone for the rest of the day. Last year’s winners, Richard Lovering and Matt Alvarado from HISC, winning from Chew’s Ian Cadwallader and Parkstone’s Dave Tabb.
The second race saw some fantastic comebacks, with Dave Tabb and Chewey Sherrell, storming back from 7th after the first lap, to win handsomely from Lovering/Alvarado to were also buried in the pack.
The race officer shortened the last two races to 2 laps, as the wind strength peaked at 29 knots. The third race saw Alan Bax and Mark Darling return to form, chasing home the in form Lovering/ Alvarado, with Crispin Read Wilson and Steve Brown third.
The last race saw Simon Kneller and Dave Lucas win, from Tabb/ Sherrell and inevitably Lovering/ Alvarado.
Sunday dawned wet, but not too blustery, but the forecast was dire – 35 knots gusting 55, and after a general conflab, there were no objections to cancelling further racing. For those de-rigging to go home, or on to Bewl, the wind rose and rose, ensuring the reservoir was closed by 10.30.
Overall, Lovering/ Alvarado won by 2 points from the consistent Tabb/Sherrell and Kneller/ Lucas. Top Datchet boat was father and son Ian and James (Ballotelli!) Linder.
Thanks to all the visitors for making the journey, even with the forecast, and to the race team for managing to complete 4 races in pretty challenging circumstances.