From Richard Mansfied
After a hint of spring sunshine earlier in the week the weather leapt sharply back into winter to provide some punishing conditions for the start of season party and race on Sunday. The wind was reasonable enough at 5 to 12 knots from the south east, which promised to give safe if not exciting sailing, but with the temperature hovering not far above zero, wind chill made it feel more like minus 10 on the water. Whilst about 40 of the saner members opted to watch from the clubhouse, warmed by a blazing log fire in the grate, 5 brave souls ventured out onto the lake to claim some early points.
First off the line was Martin Cushing in his Laser followed by Hugh Farrington Steve Murphy and Matt Gilbert in Solos, with Paul Bullock in his Laser Radial temporarily bringing up the rear. Martin held the lead convincingly for the remaining 7 laps and sailed faultlessly on to take the race by a margin of 7 minutes. Paul quickly caught up to challenge Hugh for second place over several laps, being helped at one point by a broach which ejected Hugh over the starboard side of the Solo and provided great entertainment for members watching from the clubhouse. Finishing just 1.5 seconds ahead of a Solo proved too slim a margin for the Laser Radial’s handicap, leaving Paul in third place behind Hugh. Matt and Steve followed closely behind until Lap 6 when Matt was forced to retire after a spectacular capsize in the shallows beyond Park leaving Steve to take a creditable 4th place, just one minute behind Hugh.
Meanwhile, back in the clubhouse, Steve Locke and family had provided a fantastic table of hot and cold party food, which would have been sufficient to feed the entire membership five times over. Entertainment including games for the younger members, a raffle and some background music made it a really nice party to kick off the season. Many thanks Steve! Thanks are also due to Mark Arnold & Sons for braving the elements to provide OOD and rescue coverage.
and a video