A prilling, thrilling race 25/4/12

Good spectator stuff on a Wednesday evening.

An action packed race on Wed 25th April 2012 was watched by the Race box crew of Nigel and Steve.  Nobody was listening but the duo offered high level strategic comments to the vast fleet assembled on the water.  The weather was. The wind was too. Coats were on.

 Nigel set a course that was completely biased to produce quality race watching.  Competitors were lucky that there were no fast flowing rapids to encounter.  Setting off across the ressy from a start line between “A” and “7” the first of vicious attacks took place as an unknown assassin in a Solo forced the poor Solo of 4630 into the pin end mark. Rules 16 and 17 dear friend!  At the other end of the start sequence, Nancy was unable to convince Mike that the start line was in fact and not in virtual. No horn later to that team.

 The race was full of nip and tuck right down the fleet.  Out in the front, Adams and Gould, usually found in the same ship, went head to head in Solos.  So much of a team, they even had the same sail numbers.  Fortunately we were able to tell them apart by looking for the good looking one.  Tracking them down was the Red Shed of Tom Whyte where, about half way through, was snapping on the transoms of the Solos and an epic tacking battle took place with detection of shifts being the differentiating factor.  Kevin was first to be locked in the shed. Place changes took place regularly for the rest of the race as the leading threesome swapped positions each being on top for short periods.

 In the middle, The Ent of Paul and Megan engaged with the family relationship of Chris and Julian in the GP. Choice of tack again played its part and the fortunes changed through the race, the Ent ultimately prevailing.

Rob and Abi in the Gnome Merlin systematically cut through the fleet, held up at one point by Chris in the GP, which probably cost the race win, but demonstrated consistency of seamanship to finish fourth.  The other Merlins split early, with David Homer, aided by an Angel, religiously taking out the opposition as they tracked up the fleet.  Mike C and Keith G tagged each other around the course and gave no quarter to either.  Mike C ultimately crossing the finishing line ahead of Keith to a surprised silence. 

So what of the Phantom?  A generous handicap (that might be short lived) gave advantage to Jan as he persistently put himself in the way of the usual combatants and on at least one occasion created a race changing situation at the mark. A creditable performance which would be improved by sailing in the right direction more often.

Wood and Woodall brought up the rear with no capsize!

So back to the front.  The last mark was destined to be either a little early or quite a bit late.  Nigel chose with some trepidation as the threesome sped down to mark 1.  Tom had the advantage by a boat length or two, with the Solos still open to either.  Choice made, the shorten signal went.  Tom finished about 2 minutes before the scheduled hour, Gould beating off Adams in laissez faire style by a few seconds between the two other rivals.