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Saturday 16th May – Needles Race

The wind had moderated from its early morning briskness and had settled in to a F3-4 from the WNW occasionally W. The tide was still ebbing strongly at the start of the race, but the sun shone, the water glistened and all was well with the world. Five YOD’s came out to play, and Blandina led the way followed by Puffin, Diatom and Genista, with Pimpernel following. The leading three gradually pulled away with Blandina, helmed by Dave Hirst, pulling out a good lead. Puffin stayed on too far to the Island side after Warden, and Diatom, sailing high and fast nibbled away at Blandina’s lead, finally catching her at the turning mark, Shingle Elbow. A fast spinnaker hoist pulled Diatom ahead, enabling her to gybe on to Port and head for Hatherwood point. Puffin powered past Blandina, with Genista a little way behind. Getting in to the Island shore, the flood tide had established itself, letting the fleet sail straight to Fort Albert. Diatom headed the fleet all the way back to claim the cup, with Puffin, Blandina, Genista and Pimpernel finishing in that order.

Sunday 17th May – Sunday Series

An hour before the start, it looked flat and uninteresting, but by the start, the breeze had picked up to F2-3 from the WSW on a beautiful sunny morning. The course was Black Rock, 2, #, 4 three times round, the first two buoys to starboard, the last two to port. At the start Diatom was OCS and had to return which left Genista, with James Huddleston at the helm, to lead off ahead of Puffin, Blandina, Anthea and Pimpernel. After Black Rock there was a divergence as the leading two plus Anthea stayed in while Blandina and Diatom headed out to see if there was the last of the flood in the middle. Happily there was, and Blandina reached 2 in the lead, dropping her spinnaker. Genista and Puffin were having a ding dong battle and Anthea was ahead of Diatom at the mark with Pimpernel at the rear. With the ebb tide building inshore, spinnakers were able to fly from 2 to #, where Diatom got water on Anthea to get to 4th. Blandina gybed at the mark, which proved a wrong move as the boats inshore kept out of the foul tide and she went from 1st to 5th. Puffin got past Genista to win as the race was shortened after one round. Diatom came 3rd and Blandina just pipped Anthea for 4th on the buoy. Pimpernel finished at the rear.

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