Queen Mary Blows
LWA Summer Series 2019: Event Two: Queen Mary Sat 4 May
Despite this event having been postponed from 16 March and being held on a Bank Holiday Saturday, we still had lots of competitors. The day had started off rather sunny and there were hopes of a classic day’s sailing, but the weather forecast was ominous. The BBC had claimed that there would be gusts of over 30 knots by mid afternoon and the northerly wind meant that winter wetsuits would be the order of the day.
7.8 sails were evident, although one or two stalwarts managed to hold on to their 9.5s all day. The start was way over on the Shepperton Studios side of the reservoir and waves were crashing against the far shore. As the wind was coming over the clubhouse it was perilous getting away from the bank and the hope was that as the course had been laid on the downwind side that the wind would have settled down sufficiently, however that pious hope was not to be realised.
Brian Tilbury decided half way to the start line that he was on a hiding to nothing, so in a very kind gesture he lent his 8.5 Demon to Lewis Barnes, Until the rest of us realised what had happened we were mightily impressed by Brian’s incredible speed and control in the difficult conditions.
Your correspondent’s day started badly when half way into his winter wetsuit it was realised that his wife, Janet had packed her wetsuit instead of his, and that the old joke about wetsuits shrinking during winter was, for once, only too apparent.
Several of us were having problems even before the start of Race One and we crossed the line when the bulk of the fleet were disappearing up the first beat. Contenders at the front of the fleet were Lewis Barnes, Jon Davis and Rob Kent who finished in that order, ahead of Peter Murray, doing a man-sized job on his Div II. Rod Davis crossed the finish line in 10th place after struggling round one lap, after Race Two had started! However!
Only nine of the 15 sailors finished Race Two, quite a few having not started at all, so strong and gusty were the winds. Lewis, Jon and Rob filled the top three slots ahead of Annette Kent who was using a 7.8 Techno sail to great effect.
After lunch the start of Race Three took place in quite reasonable conditions, then a massive squall came over, bringing with it winds of 30 knots plus. Those of us who had remained in the comfort of the clubhouse were secretly glad of our decision to call it a day. Rob was first over the line with Jon taking his third second place of the event ahead of Lewis and Annette. Only six sailors finished Race Three, Bob Ingram and Emily Kent being 5th and 6th respectively.
Before Race Four Lewis realised that his board was taking on water and decided to stay on the bank, so only five sailors completed the last race which was won by Rob, with Bob Ingram second and Annette third, Emily Kent and Jon were 4th and 5th, Jon having spoilt his run of three second places.
The top three could hardly have been closer, Rob and Lewis with 5 points each and Jon with 6.
1: Rob Kent (also 1st Light & 1st Vet)
2: Lewis Barnes (also 1st Heavy)
3: John Davis (also 1st Master)
4: Annette Kent (also 1st Lady)