A big day for all. With 3 races scheduled the fleet assembled around the start boat for a Northerly course. However just before the 5 minute signal the wind shifted 90 degrees. Steve, Mark & various assistants on the start boat have been doing a great job all regatta and continued so, pulling up the AP and resetting the course. So the early start now became a later than usual start, but the fleet was still keen. Firestorm more so than others and drew a IR flag when the fleet got away in an 8 knot easterly. But the breeze suited the lighter crews & Firestorm took the gun from TBS & Black Diamond. Runaway had held a higher place all race but lost out down a competitive last run to finish a close 4th. Check the race times!.
The lighter breeze was a welcome relief for some crews & kept the fleet close, with just over 10 minutes across the whole fleet. And everyone finished. This lead to close results on corrected time. Andrew, Michael & Chris on Incognito finally got to enjoy the reward for all their hard work and won the race on handicap, a whopping 20 odd seconds ahead of club mate Purple Haze, who in turn 'did' Raptor by a huge 4 seconds. Roger, Dom & Will were another 'lazy' 16 seconds further back in 4th. These places might be important come overall results.
Second race for the day and the breeze had settled more in the ENE and was building. Building enough for Michael, Peter & Murray on 2 Sailors + 1 to tear their mainsail in half & have another DNF. A frustrating regatta for "the little master" but it was great to see the champ at yet another nationals. The stories around the rigging area are legendary...
So back to the start & again it was keenly contested. This time it was Incognito to force a IR flag. Once again Firestorm, Runaway, TBS & Black Diamond all swapped tacks and gybes at the font of the fleet, with Tim, Hugh & Lennon on Stowe again lurking ready to pounce on any mistake. Plenty of passing but in the end Steve, Mick & Gabe on Runaway claimed another bullet, from Firestorm & TBS.
But once again the corrected time results were important. And with less than 10 minutes spread across the fleet the results were always going to be close. This time Alex, Rob & Andrew on 'The Haze' got the gong from Stowe, Incognito, Devocean & Raptor.
Third race for the day and the breeze was really freshening from the NE. This time no early starters but also no early finishers! Despite 15 - 20 knot gusts all boats finished & I think there was no swims. Nice. Again Firestorm, Runaway, TBS & Black Diamond lead the fleet, with Stowe again lurking. Firestorm sailed a good final lap and got the gun from TBS & Runaway.
The fleet again finished closely so it was no surprise the corrected time winners were those with good handicaps. And once again it was Purple Haze that got the victory, this time from Rog, Dom & Will on Devocean with Incognito 3rd.
Still four races left in the regatta so too early to call it but the scratch title looks like being a 4 way battle between race winners Firestorm, Runaway & Black Diamond and the comeback kings TBS. The handicap title appears also to be a 4 way battle - Purple Haze leading club mate Incognito, with Devocean close behind & Stowe again lurking!!!
Southerly forecast for Wednesday. Let's hope it has less bite than the last one...