Spring Evening Series Thursday 30th April 2015 : Linestart NE, Wind 2-3
A Fine Line – By Chris Hosken
A NE line start at Voose was agreed as fitting for the evening’s handicap race, & with no hooter or whistle DO Chris Hosken conducted the countdown by loud shouting. With the usual jostling for pole position, Phil Samuel in his Solo, closely followed by Roger McDonald in his Laser were first off as the rest of the fleet ventured over the line in a close huddle. Ginnie Sykes, taking a dislike to the argy-bargy chose to follow the rest in a neat and tidy way. Ginnie’s first outing for a couple of years; good to see her back racing.
The fleet split for the first mark at Central; Samuel chased by McD opted for mid channel, while a majority took a tip from Phil Philpott, and sailed the southern shore. Andy Biggs decided a happy medium was best sailed between the two groups. It was the Solo that reached Central first, followed by Philpott, McD, and Biggs, while Brooks and Sykes brought up the rear.
The Solo and Blaze kept close on the run to Bosahan, the Lasers following looking for any advantage. Again the Solo rounded first, followed closely by the Blaze; the lasers of Biggs, McD, Brooks, and Sykes nearby.
Philpott’s Blaze also on its first outing soon moved away from Samuel’s Solo heading for Toll on the North shore. This mark was misjudged by all, apart from Philpott, & without the extra tack he gained the space needed to get a good lead. Gunnel to gunnel, Samuel and Biggs were next around Toll, McD, and Brooks following. Sykes sailed with thought and clarity and rounded each mark in a very seaman like manner, regaining her confidence on the water.
His lead growing, Philpott blazed ahead to Trebah, rounding at half time. Behind, two schools of thought were evident in the rest of the fleet. Samuel and Biggs decided centre of the river was the place to be, McD and Brooks were convinced the north side might gain them some time. With all apart from the Blaze closing in on each other, it was McD’s mature Laser that took the mark followed by Samuel’s highly polished Solo – Biggs and Brooks next.
In lighter airs, Sykes decided a graceful retirement was her goal, and sailed impeccably back to the club house.
Heading to the mouth of the river on the final downward leg, the Blaze with its new larger sail continued to stretch the lead. McD with a never say die attitude had put some distance between himself and Samuel – but would it be enough to beat the Solo’s handicap? Philpott crossed the finishing line back at Voose in 59m10s, in the same calm and understated manner he had competed all evening. McD followed 4 minutes later with Samuel at 65.44, the lasers of Biggs and Brooks battling it out to the end with 67.25 and 67.53. At the final accounting it was the Solo on top of the podium with the Blaze at 3rd pipped by McD at 2nd
A very enjoyable evening on the river had by all.
Results 1st P Samuel. 2nd R McDonald 3rd P Philpott
Captain Dinghies Andy Biggs thanks all those in support of the fleet on the day
Safety Boat: Chris Hosken