Grey Skies and a brisk wind as I left Hove for Piddinhgoe and on arrival it did not seem as windy as the forecast shown on XC Weather – 25 to 30 knots. Consequently my Streaker was rigged and dry suit donned as some blue sky patches appeared. I took to the water but very quickly decided that I did not like the gusts and the average wind was also too much for my liking and so retreated to the shore and de-rigged.
John Freeman was ‘elected’ as RO, assisted by Emma Briggs and with Barry Lowdon and Penelope Duncan in the safety boat. A course was set with a reaching start from the mark in the south west corner, off the clubhouse, through the finish mark off the ‘kids’ jetty to a mark off the east bank as shown below.
Seven boats took to the water for the start of the first race of the day and at the gun it was Rupert Smith (Streaker, NSSC) who was first away with Michael Veale and Mike Rosier (RS 200, NSSC) next , Tim Cox (Laser Radial, NSSC) third and Thomas Beck (Oppy, NSSC) fourth. Michael missed the ‘finish’ mark and had to go back to get on course.
Rupert zoomed off on the following reach with Andy Beck (Laser Radial, NSSC) beginning to get going and passing Thomas. Michael , now back on course passed Tim only to capsize on the leg from the ‘Fisherman’s Bay’ mark to the one the other side of the Island in the south east corner. Andy also capsized albeit a bit closer to the south east mark. Ed Rolestone and Thomas Harland Smith (Feva, NSSC) after a very late start began to make some progress as did Phil Clare (Laser Radial, NSSC) having also been very late to start. At the end of the first lap the order was Rupert, Tim, Michael and Ed.R followed by Andy, Thomas and lastly Phil. Capsizes were to be a feature of the day’s racing and caused a scattering of places.
Lap 2 and no one was anywhere near Rupert, who revelled in the conditions – even the huge gusts. Michael had gone ahead of Tim, to lie second, although the latter did take a dip.
Andy was lying 4th with Phil now astern and Thomas.B still 6th as Ed.R and Thomas.H took to the water.
Lap 3 was led by Rupert from Tim who had gone ahead of Michael with Phil now behind in fourth place, having passed Andy who had another swim. Ed.R was 6th 9 and last) as Thomas failed to finish the lap.
Lap 4 and Rupert was now nearly a minute and a half ahead of Michael who had gone ahead of Tim once more. Andy was in fifth place having passed a capsized Phil on the way, and Ed.R was still 6th.
Lap 5 saw Rupert cross the line still ‘miles’ ahead of Michael, not withstanding that he had had a spill when his rudder flew up as the halyard cleat failed when he was bearing off from the ‘Fisherman’s Bay’ mark onto the broad reach to the other side of the island.Tim was third to finish with Phil now back ahead of Andy to finish fifth and Ed.R bringing up the rear. With handicaps applied the winner was Rupert with Tim second and Michael third.
Race 12, held over the same course and with little change in wind strength or direction set off at 11.35 with Michael first away close to the pin end.
Phill, a little further up the line was next and then came Rupert closer to the shore. Next away was Tim then Ed.R, Thomas.B and lastly Andy. It was not long before Andy became the first casualty with a capsize on the first reach towards the mark off the east bank. Michael continued to employ his gennaker on the offwind legs although he still could not match Rupert for speed being some 40 seconds behind at the end of the lap. Third across the line was Thomas.B in his Oppy ahead of dad Andy with Phil fifth Tim sixth and Ed.R retiring. At one point in time three boats were seen to be capsized simultaneously.
Lap 2 saw Rupert cross the line 20 seconds ahead of Michael – the gennaker must have paid off. Andy was up to third ahead of Phil and son Thomas with Tim bringing up the tail end.
Lap 3 had Rupert leading Michael across the line by 40 seconds with Phill now ahead of Andy – another spill? – and Tim ahead of Thomas.B
Lap 4 Rupert continued to pull ahead of second placed Michael who was still followed by Phil. Tim went ahead of Andy and Thomas.B finished in 6th place.
Lap 5 had Rupert still out in front of Michael, now a minute and sixteen seconds ahead. Phil had another capsize dropping back behind Tim and Andy to cross in fifth place.
Lap 6 saw the remaining five boats left on the course with Rupert crossing the line still in the lead. Michael was second ahead of Phil who had passed both Tim and Andy.
With the results calculated the winner was Rupert with Michael second and Thomas.B third.
It had been a very blustery morning with nearly all the boats having suffered at least one capsize – so many it was hard to spot who and where during the racing. There were a few tired and happy looking faces in the changing room.
The current XC Weather forecast for next Sunday is for a little less wind.