Ladies/ Gents/ Gosling 6
This gender dividing series is always keenly contested. Rescheduled from a dismal, too-foggy-to-see day two weeks ago to a too-warm-for-wetsuit day, the challenge was somewhat different. This was all about finding wind and keeping hold of it, around a course using only half the lake to avoid fishing lines. Linda Spiller (Laser full) had a good start and was in the right place to negotiate a fairly direct route to round Dam Green buoy first. Her advantage was short lived however and by the end of the first lap she had been overtaken by all five other (full rig) Lasers. Of these Sue Murray and Jane Anderson took a strong lead but, preoccupied by their competition, they both missed a mark on lap 2, forcing them to retrace their course back through the advancing fleet. Now at the front, brothers James and Nathan Pollard finished the lap “neck and neck”, Nathan choosing what proved to be a wiser tack and from then on he was never overtaken. James then lost a place to Penny Abbott, both of them trying unsuccessfully to fend off Sue who had fought her way back up the “field”.
Meanwhile Robin Spiller (Streaker) followed but never quite caught up with the Lasers. John Buckett was sailing his Otter at a pace defying it’s handicap, heading for an eventual second overall when PY’s were calculated. Of the four Bosuns, only the duo of Sally Wills and Roger Heasman managed to get past him, Sally sailing on to be 8th on the water, but with a final very commendable placing of 1st Lady. Geoff Floyd also managed to edge his Solo past the Otter at one stage, but spent most of the race jostling with Bosuns. Alan Comber/ John Weller’s Enterprise struggled in the fickle breeze, eventually calling it a day and unfortunately after all her hard work, a check in the rule book showed Sue Murray had not fully corrected her course after missing that buoy, leading to her disqualification.
1. Nathan Pollard (Laser full)
2. John Buckett (Otter)
3. Robin Spiller (Streaker)
4. Sally Wills & Roger Heasman (Bosun)
5. Penny Abbott (Laser full)
6. James Pollard (Laser full)
7. Jane Anderson (Laser full)
8. Nicky Buckett & Bob Sampson (Bosun)
9. Toby Tobias (Bosun)
10. Linda Spiller (Laser full)
11. Geoff Floyd (Solo)
12. Cilla Gilbert & Brian Pollard (Bosun)
Ret: Alan Comber & John Weller (Enterprise) Dsq: Sue Murray (Laser full)
The same course was set, although the breeze had veered slightly to the SW. First across the line was Jane Anderson (Laser full), followed by Sue Murray (now with a Laser radial rig) and Penny Abbott (Laser full). All the others joined in the starboard tack to Dam Green and progressed in what was to become a sedate procession, the wind varying in strength from gentle to whisper and complicating matters by continuing to veer until north westerly by the end of the race. Jane’s lead increased steadily, dramatically and seemingly without effort. Only Sue managed to close the gap a little, too late to win on the water, but close enough to give her the victory on handicap. Further back Penny Abbott (Laser full) edged further ahead of the ongoing battle between the other three Lasers, who “crawled” across the line close together. However, Nathan Pollard had switched to a radial rig, giving him the competitive edge in final placings.
John Buckett’s Otter again performed well against the Bosuns, which were in close contention throughout, Bob Sampson/ Nicky Buckett, Toby Tobias and Roger Heasman/ Sally Wills crossing the finish in a line-astern formation. Neither of the Solos fared well without much in the way of breeze and with water levels unusually low, Robin Spiller’s Streaker went aground early in the race. Whilst sorting out his dagger board, which had wedged against the boom, he noticed his rudder floating off and although the reassembled Streaker rejoined the race it made little progress at the rear and retired early.
1. Sue Murray (Laser radial)
2. Jane Anderson (Laser full)
3. John Buckett (Otter)
4. Penny Abbott (Laser full)
5. Nathan Pollard (Laser radial)
6. Bob Sampson & Nicky Buckett (Bosun)
7. Linda Spiller (Laser full)
8. James Pollard (Laser full)
9. Toby Tobias (Bosun)
10. Roger Sampson & Sally Wills (Bosun)
11. Brian Pollard & Cilla Gilbert (Bosun)
12. John Savage (Solo)
Ret: Robin Spiller (Streaker) & Geoff Floyd (Solo)
Many thanks to John Dabbs and Kathy Wyke for acting as Officers of the Day and to Mandy Pollard for photographs.