Sail of Two Winds

The club sailing season got underway on an unexpectedly glorious morning – clear blue skies, cold after a hard frost, and a gentle southerly breeze. Substantially better than the gales which had been forecast earlier in the week. Mike Turner arrived expecting to be sitting on shore watching the racing, but the conditions were so pleasant he went out for his first sail of the season with Sue Watson crewing. Also, just the conditions for William to be wearing shorts!

Everyone was so eager to race that the first race haled the first general recall of the season – even if no flags were at hand to fly! The breeze swung around Sale Fell (as it does) to give some shifty conditions and winds from both the south and south-west. Robbie D and Big E mastered the conditions in their RS400 which they have just bought together, but they were only 6 secs/lap ahead of Alan Nicholson in his Solo. The first race claimed the first casualties of the season – Ginge capsized his laser, and Claudie Black’s Comet came to grief when the mast step broke away inside the hull!

In the afternoon, the wind strengthened from the south-west and there were several capsizes on the first beat which immediately thinned out the fleet to just four boats. The first offwind leg was good for spinnakers initially, but the wind headed as the fleet approached the next mark. Reaching down the back straight to mark 2 seemed like a good idea but proved to be too tight and the spinnakers were dropped – disappointing in such a good wind. It was Robbie D that again too took the honours and the series, with Toggle 2nd in his Vareo. William and Elaine took third overall