The start was delayed by 20 minutes because of congestion on the launching ramp with a rapidly rising spring tide having robbed us of foreshore, plus the rigging of a Solo and a Mirror, only the second time of launching, required some team work to sort out.  So the safety boat (Henry Brown) was late down the ramp and Mary Brown (OOD) up at the Bell and Crown wondered what on earth was going on. But eventually six boats were on the water, the marks were set, and the race was started.

Frankie, the first time out in his Solo (Tango), decided that he would get to know Tango rather than join the race.  The other sailors were Lev Kolobov solo in Porpoise (Enterprise), Rob in Phoebe (Laser), Keith Clarke in Kaia (Laser), Tim Young in Ait Knots (Wanderer) and another two generations of Adams’, Olly and Billy in Spinosaurus (Mirror).

It was cold and overcast – rather forbidding – with a northerly at the top end of F3, but at least there was no sign of rain.  The northerly gave a choice of running either side of the PLA mid-stream moorings but there didn’t seem a great advantage either way.  We set an A-course with a downstream mark just up from the slip dock and an upstream mark, as usual, opposite the Steam Packet.

Rob led the way from the start with Lev close behind and they completed 8 laps before the race was ended, just before the tide turned.  Lev sneaked past Rob right at the end with a 30 second advantage.  Tim sailed a very consistent race and kept clear of the overtaking leaders, which meant he had to do a 7th lap.  Olly and Billy also sailed a very impressive race in the Mirror which, with their beginning of season handicap, meant that they won the handicap points.  They completed 6 laps and were ahead of Keith’s Laser for the last two.  And Frankie managed to avoid a capsize and learned plenty about the Solo.  And at the end the sun shone and showed Strand at its best against a contrasting dark sky – positive signs of spring.

The recovery at the arch was as protracted as the launch with much shuffling of boats in knee-deep water, but at least there was hot tea and flapjack as compensation.

Next week is a B-course, starting at 12:00.