Today was the turn of the Marbleheads at the later summer start time of 1:30 PM. While a west nor wester was blowing gently down the dam as we rigged up, there were signs of a sea breeze as the overcast conditions were breaking up and the sun was starting to heat things up. PRO for the day was David Murfet, thankyou David, but only a half dozen skippers turned up. A rig was the only option in the light and very shifty conditions at first, and when the sea breeze came in around Race 5, it still wasn't strong enough to warrant the smaller rig. It was however, strong enough to mount RaceCam and some great vision was recorded including were I thought (hoped) I was crossing Ray on port but alas my judgment was out. Ten races were sailed in reasonable pressure averaging around 8 knots but with the usual puffs and holes. Water level in the dam has lowered exposing the weed beds along the bank, it also makes launching tricky, having to avoid a few clumps growing straight off the launching ramp, and a few stray floaters caught a few of us and stopped us in our wake during the course of the afternoon's racing.
John Hall opened his account with a win in Race 1 with Ray Joyce and Peter Sylvester hot on his tail. I had a pit stop after the windward marks to remove some profoundly cursed weed and came DFL. Ray took his only win for the day in Race 2 followed by yours truly and the Red Dragon Andrew Wardrop in third. John scored another bullet in Race 3 followed closely by myself and Ray. I grabbed my first win in Race 4 with John Hall always persistent in second place, as too Ray Joyce in third place. After the first drop, John Hall held a 1 point lead on 4 points from myself, and Ray Joyce a point behind in third place. Race 5 was another good one for me, taking the win from Andrew Wardrop and Ray Joyce. Andrew Wardrop won the battle in Race 6 from Ray Joyce and the F3. Race 7 was when I put on RaceCam and with the extra load still managed to finish second behind John Hall again and Peter Sylvester with another podium finish. Race 8 was neck and neck between Andrew, Ray and myself until I tried to cross Ray on port and didn't make it, all caught on video. Andrew was the victor in that race with Peter Sylvester sailing well into second spot and John Hall rounding out the minor places. Another pit stop to take off the camera that was barely holding. After eight races, John Hall was leading from myself on count back on 11 points with Ray Joyce in third place on 15 points. John Hall threw down the gauntlet in Race 9 taking the win on the last beat from myself and Ray third. Going into the last race John Hall was on 12 points, myself on 13 points and Ray on 18 points. The last race was as keenly contested with myself taking line honours from Ray Joyce and John Hall in third place, giving me the win for the day with 14 points from John Hall on 15 points and Ray Joyce third overall with 20 points. I cursed the weed in Race 1 but in the end it gave me the win.
Next Sunday is the return of the Long Distance Series starting at 11:00 AM with a BBQ lunch.
Till then, wet sails.
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