A simply fabulous day greeted Flying Fifteen competitors at Datchet Water Sailing Club. There were lots of place changing with eight boats on the slip and seven racing.
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Race one eased its way out of the gate, Ian and James Linder moving very fast actually. There was a fair committee boat bias to the line – things got a little crowded! The day tended to be one of breeze picking before shift picking, and the Linders soon moved away. Howard and Richard were in close pursuit on the first reach, with the main pack hunting some way behind – Mike Firth and Andy Parsons were making the Hansons work very hard for it.
The entire race tended to be a pattern of the Linders and Howard/Richard getting really close then separating, but Howard/Richard not quite having the horsepower or guile to get past… the shifts were all over the place and you had to pick carefully – which is what the Hansons did on the last reach. Up to windward they went, the Linders down the middle, and Howard/Richard to leeward.
The Hansons picked up a blinder of a breeze and for a moment looked to have over-hauled the other two. Then down went the kite on 3934 and everything was tense for a moment. And so the breeze died!!! The boats were really very close coming to the last mark…but at the finish the Linders took it by 20 seconds from Howard/Richard, who in turn put 40 seconds in between themselves and the Hansons in third.
For the second race, the pin was moved first to square the line off – then off we went into generally increasing breeze. It’s really quite hard to write about this one as we took off to the right and just got slaughtered and were last by miles at the top mark. The first two spots were taken by the Linders ahead of the Hansons. Rounding the wing mark for the last time it was Simon and Steve, then Mike Firth with Andy Parsons, then possibly Andy and Agnes, Howard/Richard, and Mark Firth last I think.
We were just all over each other on that last leg – Mark shot up into third, certainly passing Howard/Richard on the way down. Howard/Richard got ahead of both Steve/Simon and Mike/Andy to get fourth. Andy and Agnes made it on Mike/Andy to get sixth too. Bet the air was blue on 3888!!
Datchet Fifteen website