If we thought the winds yesterday were fickle, the weather gods served up a real challenge today. More so for the race officer than the racers. The objective was to try and run three races. In the end we only had the one and that was shortened.
After a delay for the wind to settle – it was off the shore roughly from Lee on the Solent – we went into a start sequence. With 30 seconds to go the race offer decided the line was not square; clue – some 45 boats queuing up at the committee boat! Having reset the line we tried again. Some nine naughty helmsmen had their boats on the wrong side of the line – general recall. Then into a black flag sequence. Those at the pin end got away on a zephyr while those at the committee boat were becalmed. The race was allowed to run until the leading boat was approaching the windward mark, then abandoned. We were all feeling sorry for David McGregor, Bev and Ollie in Annabel who were the clear leaders until we learned they had been “black flagged”.
So we tried again. Eventually we got away on a shifting breeze initially from the NE. Most of the fleet went left and few of us went right expecting a new breeze from the East. And so it came to pass. A breeze did fill it, albeit fitfully, from the East. At the windward mark we had the sight of Foxglove close-hauled from the left and Thora under spinnaker arriving from the right. Behind these two boats there was a cacophony as boats arrived from all directions. Three Itchenor boats did well in the ensuing run to the leeward gate and turned to windward 1,2,3 – Princess Jalina, Annabel and Xanadu who had passed Foxglove and Thora. Finally, it was a fetch to the windward mark and the finish of a shortened race. In the final reckoning Itchenor boats that scored well were Annabel – 3rd, Princess Jalina – 5th, Thora – 6th Xanadu – 8th and Foxglove – 12th.
Overall Annabel is Itchenor’s leading light in 2nd place with Foxglove in 4th and Princess Jalina 7th.