The weeks previous forecasts leading up to the 2nd IOM SWDCS (south west district championship series) at Yeovil had varied form + 15mph and heavy rain to -5mph and wall to wall sunshine. In the end the wind never rose above 5mph and the sun never really shone through the clouds. It did however always threatened to rain with a few very light showers at times.
Sixteen Competitors arrived at the lake and racing started just before 10.30. There appeared to be more wind on the opposite side of the lake as the control and racing area was in the lee of the steep tree lined railway and embankment. What little wind there was did generally come from a North West direction so a triangular course was laid and remained un-altered for the rest of the day. At the start of the event there was a slight bias to start nearest the bank. This was only due to the fact that it was approx 3 boat lengths nearer the windward mark. As the day progressed so the wind filled in slightly, probably making 5mph in the gusts, this slight change made for a more equal and fairer start line as the stronger wind was found in the middle of the course making up for the extra distance to travel.
I would imagine that at least 12 races were run with a short break before lunch and another small break prior to the last 3-4 races. No one skipper appeared to be taking the majority of the bullets, in fact I doubt if anybody had more than 2 bullets to their name. Although, to my mind the one person who managed to sail themselves out of trouble the most, or to put it another way. Overtake more competitors than any other skipper was James Edwards. Despite some dodgy starts his race management was exemplary and I doubt if he finished outside the top 5 in any one race and when he did start well he could pull out a horizon lead. Unfortunately, during one such race the OOD abandoned proceedings due to a number of rule infringements being witnessed but a distinct lack of exonerations being undertaken.
As for myself I wasn't doing too badly with a couple of top 5 results but I did have a couple of horrors. Hitting the finishing mark whilst mid fleet and ending up last amused my fellow competitors. Although, the icing on the cake must have been hitting another mark whilst leading the race, finishing mid fleet, reminding me it's not just the winning that's important. I made the two and a half hour trip home with a smile on my face, reflecting on the banter, sportsmanship and general good quality of the racing given the light n shifty conditions.
The 7 boR @ Yeovil
94 Could be on the wrong tack