The climax of the Sallyforth Series today was gladiatorial battle against a force 6 south westerly. The black rain clouds approaching from Faversham kept a few sailors ‘in doors’, six boats and ten sailors launched. Unfortunately, Paul Carter stabbed one of his rudders on stony ground and snapped the rudder blade, his D18 spent the rest of the tide on the beach. Rob S and Jane B set off apace in their 18 whilst Mark and Keetah wrestled theirs around the fast course. Ian was the sole representative from the D15 fleet. In the slow fleet, Mark and Judy had their plastic Mirror afloat whilst the red sails strained at their leash. David A briefly negotiated the course before being laid flat by a sustained gust; retirement was the only sensible option after that as his slight build was no match for the conditions. Mark and Judy were left to fly the slow fleet flag alone in - the thankfully heavy- Bobbin Billy. First line honours went to Mark and Keetah, but lost out to the tremendous efforts of Ian Mills on handicap. The second race commenced without a coffee break and was keenly contested on the line, through the first mark and onto the seaward reach with the two 18s neck and neck until Mark & Keetah pulled clear. Ian resolutely stayed in spitting distance of the lead 18 and when Rob and Jane retired following and exhausting capsize recovery, the remaining 15 and 18 fought their way through four laps to cross the line ecstatic at the quality of the sailing conditions. First and second place played out as it did in the first race with the 18 not being able to put more than three minutes between it and the D15.
Thanks go to Steve W for his great stewardship of the day, the PB team of the day and the impromptu efforts of Paul C and Jarvis C in the second PB for their solid support on the water.
Sunday 3rd May 2015