Racing against Barney - what storm?

A forecast of 40 knot gusts saw the London University's students choosing to stay in bed and discouraged most of the WHSC fleet.  Five GPs and three lasers had the Harp to themselves and as usually happens, a breeze  that's not as horrendous as the forecast. 

Storm Barney?  A fickle northerly with some lively gusts.  Not easy conditions for course setting,  with beats from 6 to 5, 4 to 3 and 2 to 1 , and plenty of reaches to join the dots.  After a good start at the favoured committee boat end of the line Steve C and Andy Shrimpton were first at the windward mark.   

Some rigging errors can be kept between helm and crew to be recalled later in the clubhouse to justify a poor performance. Spinnaker clew attached to halyard affords no such discretion.  Much laughter in the safety boat as the kite goes up sideways and the fleet sails past!    

The lead changed throughout the first two laps mainly on the short beats and at the windward marks below the trees.  Strong gusts above, light wind going the opposite way on the water.  It was a bit messy! Tack late, or attempt to shoot the mark and park the boat.   

Jim Diamond and Maciej kept their boat moving and by the third lap established a good lead to win the race.    The second race was keenly contested throughout with Maciej and Jim pulling away from Helen and Chris Lomax on the final beat.  

Steve Cooper