A fine and sunny winter’s day with forecast light norwesterlies veering to the north later in the day and strengthening by evening. On arrival to the Brook, a steady 6 to 8 knot variable norwester set the stage for another day of close, but at times frustrating, Marblehead racing for Round 3 of the 2016 Winter Series. Stuart Harris volunteered to do the PRO duties and was assisted for a few races by Anthony Castray, and to both of you a big THANKYOU from the eight skippers that fronted. Course for the day was the standard Course 1: start between 1 and 2, windward beat up to 6, into 5, short downwind to 3 then 4, back up to 6 and 5 for a longer run down to the gate then a short windward dash to the finish line between 1 and 2.
Race 1 and Andrew Wardrop got the ball rolling with a solid win followed by Lisa Blackwood in second and Peter Sylvester finishing in third place. Race 2 and Lisa got the jump on the fleet at the start and took line honours from John Hall in second and Ray Joyce with his new beast and its impressive looking polished bronze bulb taking the minor podium spot. By race end the breeze had died to virtually nothing so an early lunch was called. Lisa decided to pull the pin to take advantage of the fine day and go and do some gardening. Whatever floats your boat but I dig where she was coming from (sorry)!
With the wind filling back in and more in the north, racing resumed with John Hall taking the win in Race 3 and yours truly coming to the party with a second as did Peter with his second podium finish in third spot. Race 4 and Ray cracked the champers with the maiden win for his new boat, with yours truly taking another second and Andrew Wardrop in the top three as well. After the first drop, John Hall led the field with 7 points from second placed Andrew Wardrop with 8 points, Ray Joyce and myself both on 9 points and Lisa in the top five with 12 points despite only contesting two races.
Race 5 saw the wind swing further north and a course change was call by Stu Harris: to mark 5 first then six, the box being reversed. I notched up my first win for the day with Peter Sylvester close behind in second and Ray Joyce with his third podium for the day finishing in third place. Race 6 and a double for the F3 closely followed home by John Hall in second and Ray with his forth podium and a third. Another win for Ray in Race 7 with Peter the bride's maid and yours truly the page boy. Race 8 saw John take his second win for the day with Ray getting the new girl home in second and Andrew Wardrop on the podium again with a third. After the second drop, Ray had taken the lead with 13 points, followed by myself and John both with 14 points, Peter in fourth place with 22 points and Andrew rounding out the top 5 with 25 points.
Race 9 and Andrew Wardrop grabbed his second win for the day with myself in second place and John Hall hot on my transom in third place. With one race to go, I held a 1 point lead over John and Ray both on 17 points, Andrew in forth with 22 points and Peter Sylvester in fifth with 25 points. The overall win for the day was up for grabs coming down to the last race. The final race was a close one with John taking the gun from yours truly in second and Peter in third. Johns third win for the day was enough to take the overall win on countback from the F3, both of us on 18 points and Ray taking out third place overall with 22 points. Despite the sometimes frustrating and fickle winds, the racing was of a high calibre and was conducted in the manner expected and a enjoyable day's sailing was had by all skippers.
Sunday is Long Distance with racing from 11:00 AM and a BBQ lunch or maybe a sav or two for something easy and different.
Till then, wet sails.
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