A disappointing forecast for the last Saturday’s Redwing & One-Design racing this season put most people off, however in the event the rain was not nearly so bad as predicted and the strong winds failed to materialise. Sadly no Redwings, however Robin Ebsworth & Mike Toogood jumped ship and took out No 7 One-Design instead to see if they could pinch a podium place. Having agreed to use storm mains & normal jibs, progress by the four boats out to the start at Garland was slow in the F2 WSW breeze. After an initial postponment to allow everyone to make the start area, it had to be extended when the fickle breeze veered 45 degrees to the NW just before the start of the sequence, only to back back to WSW about 5 minutes later!
They all made a clean start with Jos Coad, ably crewed by our Hon Chaplain Amanda Bloor, first across the line as they headed initially to Pepe, then to Janson via Garland. With time running out for a second race, a decision was made to extended to course to finish at Pepe; ten minutes later, the breeze promptly began to increase! Although they were all quite close, it was Robin Ebsworth in No 7 who was clearly the boat to beat. Trading tacks as they approached the finish, James Row with Mark Batin (the Vicar’s husband) crewing in No 8 looked as if he would just cross the line ahead but after a call for water on the Committee Boat by No 7, both boats crossed the line together and were scored equal first; Jos in No 12 was third.
On Sunday, seven One-Designs left their moorings for the last races of the season in almost perfect conditions. RO’s Mike Samuelson and Nick Wakefield set a line using the new inflatable that the Club has just purchased and set a course for the first race using Nainby, Garland, Derrick and Under Tyne in the light N/NW’erly breeze. Although the start was postponed for 10 minutes in the hopes that William Bland in No 12 would be able to resolve a rigging problem, this was not to be so the other six boats started with Suzie Beart in No 5 getting away with a risky port tack start at the pin end. Anna Row helming No 8 was first round Nainby and held onto the lead for the rest of the race; after a slow first half, Jos Coad got into second place on the beat to out to Derrick and finished just under a minute behind. Andrew & James Palmer in No 3 were third a minute later.
With the excellent conditions looking set to hold, the course for the second race tried to include as many of the other Club buoys as possible. Although when the hooter went it was a clean start, Andrew Palmer in No 3 almost succeeded in forcing Robin Ebsworth helming No 7 over the line and Susie Beart in No 5 again managed to start on port tack at the pin end. However on reaching Ruthven after a nice beat from Moreton, it was decided to miss out Tara as it was looking as if the breeze was dropping. In the event, it backed to the West which meant that the final leg from Fitzwilliam to Pepe became a challenging final beat. Having led round the first windward mark, Janson, the Palmer’s in No 3 managed to hold their nerve and read the fickle breeze sufficiently well to finish a full two minutes ahead of James Row helming No 8 with Robin Ebsworth helming No 7 five seconds later. Richard & Lisa Jessel in No 11, also guesting from the Redwings, were fourth.
A lovely days racing to finish the season. Illusion racing starts next weekend!”