Datchet Race Report Sunday 23rd November
No doubt having looked at the weather forecast and hearing the heavy rain falling on Sunday morning, the more sensible sailors of the fleet decided to stay in bed. However 4 crews did rock up and race in what turned out to be an increasing, if cold, wind.
Along with the usual autumn series crews of 3954 (John and Helen) and 3427 (Mike and Ian), Roger and Richard put in an appearance in 3642 as well as Stephen and Nigel in 3703.
After a postponement to allow marks to be moved and boats to make it to the other end of the water, the fleet got underway and it soon turned out to be effectively a match race between Stephen and John, with Roger trying to overhaul Mike after being a little late to the start. Stephen and Nigel got to the windward mark just ahead of John and Helen, only to round and not hoist their kite. John and Helen launched straight away and managed to gain ground back on the first tight reach. At the gybe mark, John was just behind but on the inside and through the next light and shifty leg managed to creep over Stephen to take the lead at the leeward mark. At this point they appeared to shift up a gear and slowly increase their lead all the way to the finish. Mike held onto third position and Roger was fourth.
Although the breeze was increasing, it was by no means steady and there constant shifts and veins of breeze meaning the first beat of the second race was an interesting affair with John Stephen and Mike swapping places on a number of occasions with Stephen eventually getting to the windward mark first followed by John, Mike and then Roger. Stephen and John started to pull away from Mike and Roger meaning 2 distinct races were in progress for the rest of the course. Eventually John overhauled Stephen, and Mike managed to keep ahead of Roger, meaning the result was exactly as it was for the first race.
With only a few races left in the series, John (3954) has a commanding lead, followed by Richard (4011) and then Mervyn (3536).