by Adam Hilton
‘Force 4, gusting 6’ was the forecast and the forecasters were right! The gusts were powerful and deviated wildly from the underlying southerlies; two members of the fleet had their dinghies capsize and the rest had to work very hard. Nathan Pollard (Laser Full) was first over the line and led throughout. Jane Anderson (Laser 4.7) was second to start and newcomer Mike Coley (Laser Full) was running in third until his boat disappeared from under him at Home 2. The Anderson 4.7 stayed in touch with the leading Laser around West and up to Pinkie. Brian (Bosun, Cilla Gilbert as crew) began to pull ahead of John Dabbs (Bosun, with Adam Hilton) in front of Geoff Floyd with a small sail on his Solo. Mike Coley got his Laser the right way up and was giving chase but retired at the end of lap 1.
On the second lap Nathan Pollard was stretching the gap to Jane Anderson but in the winds even he was having to loose his mainsheet a little. The Bosuns were duelling, Brian Pollard generally ahead as they rounded the buoys until, on the beat from Pinkie back to Middle, John Dabbs’ choice of tacks gave him a lead over the yellow Bosun which was not again challenged.
The fleet continued to reduce, with Jane Anderson retiring her Laser on lap 2 and Geoff Floyd being towed in. The third lap therefore finished with Nathan Pollard some ten minutes ahead of the leading Bosun with Brian Pollard following some two and a half minutes behind.
Not run; too few skippers were prepared to brave the gusts!
Roger Heasman was Officer of the Day: many thanks to him and to Mandy Pollard who took the photographs.