Winter Series - Races 7 and 8

Thankfully, the weekend’s bad weather mainly confined itselfto Saturday although a bit more wind on Sunday wouldn't have gone amiss.

The light breeze was mainly from the NNW as forecast in themiddle of Southampton Water and on the Fawley shore. But over on the Netleyshore it was lighter and more northerly as might be expected.

The CommitteeBoat anchored close to Lains Lake buoy on the Fawley shore where there'd be thebest chance of a starting breeze and the maximum variety of windward markoptions if the gradient went from NNW to N as forecast.

Regrettably it’s notpossible from there the get in a decent windward leg without getting into thewind shadow of the mainland. Fortunately racing was all on the highwater stand although any ebb was likely to be early and reinforced by theprevious days of rain. 1005 saw a very orderly combined start for seven boatsin two classes.

The course for race 7 was set to go to Hover 3, then a laidmark to the WSW, Royal Southampton, Deans Lake, Netley and then a runningfinish to the ODM. The boats that broke early for the Netley shore appeared atfirst to be doing well but then faired less well as they neared the Netleyshore.

Magec won Class 1 leaders battle over R&W and clung onto thatadvantage. But the race was slow going for all concerned. Despite signs of alittle more breeze, the decision was made to shorten race 7 at Deans Lake inthe hope of taking advantage of the extra wind speed for a full length Race 8over the same course.

The second start was at 1115, this time with Glass Onion ona port tack at the ODM end and Fusion 4 squeezed out initially by Aura. Thistime it was R&W ahead of Magec at the windward mark but Magec clawed herway back to finish first. Wanting to avoid as much of the lighter air aspossible, Glass Onion and others stayed more over on the Fawley half of thewater this time until they thought they could lay the windward mark.

With thebreeze at the Committee Boat hovering at around 7 - 8 knots the going stillwasn't fast but everyone made it home, even Domain under white sails.

Report by Bob Trimble
Photos by Natalie Hamilton