A flooding tide, some sunshine and a brisk South West wind looked set for some good racing on the 4th race of the series.
A fairly long course was set taking the competitors downwind to Buoy 23 with a beat to Buoy 27 and back to Buoy 22 and a beat /fetch home.
Sails to be set were largely decided by the number of crew on board. Most boats were line shy and with a downwind start some boats elected for spinnakers and others white sailed only. Red Dwarf and Mr Chips were the first to launch their kites. Red Dwarf elected to stay in the shallows on the South shore but boats in the tide away from the bank fared better as they proceeded away from the line.
Zephros and Mr Chips were having a battle for clear air with Mr Chips just pulling through at the end of heartbreak reach. Valkyrie went for a kite launch but something was not in the right place and it was aborted. As it happens this did them no harm as the other kite flyers struggled as they were headed approaching Hoo Island.
Spinnakers were stowed but re-launched in Gillingham reach. It was a broad reach and Muskrat Ramble and Irene sailing white sails only caught up.
At Buoy 23 Valkyrie rounded in front with Zephros behind closely followed by Irene and Mr Chips.
Irene went well on the return leg especially in Gillingham reach with Tender Touch making steady progress.
Valkyrie sailed really fast on the beat and took line honours and was well ahead on handicap in the cruising fleet. Irene showed some good speed and despite sailing 2 up and with white sails only was a credible 2nd with Mr Chips 17 seconds behind. In fact 5 boats finished within seconds of each other on handicap. Ian Foxwell sailing his new boat Sea Horse a Hanse 291 on its first outing decided on an early bath otherwise all boats were finished in just over 90 minutes.
However it was Rob and Zoe’s Sonata Red Dwarf that won overall on handicap. The two Dragons Whistle and Gandalf were having their usual race within a race and eventually Whistle came out on top.
For full results see the results page.
Just a reminder that there is no racing on the 6th July as its Regatta week. However boats are welcome to participate on the Thursday evening race from the Upnor Sailing Club. Call sign U Base.