Champagne sailing conditions greeted the intrepid helms and crews on Saturday with a sunny sky and a F3 from the SW. The five boats launched themselves for the 14:10 start heading for course 77 (sunset strip) with the furthest mark being buoy 23. It is fair to say that as we set off the wind was getting gusty F4-5 which made the decision on the running start to fly the kite not a foregone conclusion. Hercules Hound (10686, Brian and Liz McKenzie) made the early running with Muffin (10974, Richard Stone and Catherine Gore) making the slightly later decision to use the kite with Loose Knots (10614, Mark Penny and Sarah Mason) in third eventually deciding that multi coloured kite was a safe option. Black Jack (11064, Nigel Pye and Dave Parks) and Wild Thing 2 (11315, Mike Pimm and Pete Dilley) followed closely behind as we made for buoy 28. The Muffin and Hercules were closely tied at the first mark with Muffin just edging ahead.
The middle phase of the race saw the lead change several times as the leaders battled the gusty conditions. Loose Knots had established a solid third place already trying to make mental notes on what was happening as the report writing loomed. Black Jack held fourth as we run down to buoy 23 with Wild Thing 2 close in fifth. As they rounded the furthest mark Wild Thing 2 started to make it’s move and gradually hauled in Black Jack overtaking them on the way back to buoy 30. Loose Knots sailed its own race in third having some great two sail planing reaches heading back to the line whilst trying to eat wine gums and sing a medley of show tunes. Muffin and Hercules Hound were locked in a tight battle all the way to the finish with Muffin finally prevailing for their second win of the season. Whilst it was Champagne sailing on the water even after a second win it would appear that the Commodore and Rear Commodore are a little bar shy when buying the fizz, opting for a can of Fanta with the promise of real bubbles when the fleet returns to full strength!