The windometer showed more than 40 knots at lunchtime, and the forecasts offered windspeeds as low as 20 to gusts of 45 for the Tuesday evening race.

 

Half a dozen enthusiastic spectators gathered in and around the clubhouse, 6 got ready to do their duties and 4 prepared to race. Sometimes the water looked almost calm, and sometimes the patterns on the water looked threateningly wide and fast.

 

Keith and Demi took the committee out to the middle of the Harp where in the distance white  horses (albeit more grey) could be dimly seen. Scooter and Paul manned the first GP to venture out next, toyed with the pole but seemed to think better of raising the spinnaker, and did a nicely controlled jibe after managing a gust near the south shore.

 

Roger and Norman set off next, and with the spinnaker raised, were quickly capsized by a gust. It wasn't until they had righted and capsized a few more times, having been driven by the wind to the north bank where they could stand, and with a little expert help from Alain and Will in the safety boat, they regained their poise and headed towards the start.

 

The course had been set for a south westerly 2143, Scooter starting well on port and Roger on starboard. But Roger managed to gain the lead just before the first mark, where both boats managed successful tacks.  Controlled jibes followed at buoy 1, where Scooter decided to put up his spinnaker – but half way towards buoy 4 a gust pushed him off course which he seemed to attempt to regain – and capsized.

 

Like Roger and Norman earlier, righting the boat and keeping it there, despite expert help from Dennis and Mike in the safety boat, proved elusive, and by the time they decided to head for home, Roger had almost completed the final and second lap of a shortened course. Whether or not consensus had been established to abandon the thought of a second race, Keith decided to head for home.

 

 

Honour, however, had been satisfied by all – and some good points gained for the series!

Laurence Bard