At last sunshine greeted the 13 boats that came out to play in the 3rd race of the series to include newcomer Irene a nicely turned Dufour 34, with Sonata Miss Fortune from Upnor making its 1st appearance.
With a strong ebbing tide and a 2-3 ENE forecast the course took the fleet down to bouy 26 with a loop back and spinnaker run to 29 before beating upwind to buoy 24 and another spinnaker run downwind to the line. The wind was slightly stronger than forecast and most boats had little difficulty sailing over the tide.
There was plenty of jockeying for position at the start with boats trying to keep upwind of the tide. Unforunately Mr Chips was a premature starter. Zephros started well on the South shore and was nicely lifted along the bank making the 1st mark at buoy 30 without a tack. Musical Express also started well on the North shore electing to stay in more tide. Several place changes took place on the windward legs with Red Dwarf and Reefer proceeding through the fleet. Whistle and Gandalf didn’t start well and appeared to have their own private race with Whistle coming out on top.
Valkyrie also sailed well through the fleet after an uncharacteristic poor start. But it was not their evening. After a near collision with Musical who tried to go the wrong way round buoy 29 ( apologies Jo ! ) Valkyrie went hard aground just after Folly whilst concentrating on getting the spinnaker set. Fortunately Valkyrie has a large iron sail and they were spared a sleepover.
Zephros took line honours and was the 1st cruiser on handicap with Reefer 2nd and Tender Touch only seconds behind in 3rd position.
The Sonatas had the better of the Dragons this week with Musical, Red Dwarf and Miss Fortune taking the top 3 positions in the keelboat fleet.
Y Knot ( Splinter 21 ) sailing single handed, decided on an early bath but the rest of the fleet were all finished by 20-30hrs
We had several boats looking for crews and all would be welcome, just turn up and ask for Mike