B Course F3 NWW Gust 4+
A lively day on which James and grandson, Chris & Mary and Rob decided to challenge the gusty conditions and Ben to try out, but not to race Envy, his newly acquired Laser.
James and Rob positioned themselves for a Surrey bank start; Chris, after a late rigging delay, achieved a prompt Middlesex departure. Conditions downstream favoured the southern pair who were back at the upstream mark in just under 11 minutes. Rob, marginally in the lead approaching the buoy, was pipped round it at the last moment by James. Chris & Mary followed 3 1/2 minutes later.
Rob & James were still only 27 seconds apart at the end of the second lap. However, near the downstream mark on the third lap James came back into view sailing only on his jib. The explanation for this proved to be a broken kicking strap. However, they tacked back on the jib to complete their third lap.
In the meantime, Chris & Mary had lost further time but were valiantly staying upright in the gusts (which Rob had briefly failed to do – although it didn’t appear to delay him much). They retired after crossing the line before exhaustion set in – or a final gust decided the issue. Rob followed them across 13 seconds later and a lap ahead and was awarded the (shortened) race as being the only competitor remaining with a mainsail.