Up River Winter Series 2011 – Battle of the Lightnings Weekend 3

Sunday 27th November and gales swept Essex. Many people were seen standing around on river banks muttering, stupid, mad to go out in that and similar things. After an hour they decided it had dropped off enough which was great as it allowed Simon who could not make the published start time to get there, rig and make the start. The usual three Lightning’s were on the start line but not looking a gift horse in the mouth Simon powered off the line to round the first mark ahead of the Comet and Matt. Penny feeling the effects of the Flu was struggling in the breeze and had a quiet race; enough said of that, but maybe she was saving herself for the second race? Anyway back at the front Simon and Matt pulled clear of the fleet, but with a windward leeward course normally left for asymmetric there was few overtaking lanes and although Matt kept Dad honest Simon took the win on the water and handicap. Although second on the water Matt had that galling feeling of been taken by a couple of the slower boat for 4th on handicap.

Second race the wind was dying by the second and it was a battle to start as close to the North bank as possible, Simon thought he had nailed it but Penny appeared from nowhere above him to sail over the top and take the early lead.  Matt having gone ashore at the 1 minute gun to fix his outhaul started late and had a chase on his hands. Penny led the fetch up the river bank with Simon right on her transom, then Matt overtaking a Comet infringed and had to do turns! When the river opened out Simon got his nose to windward and rolled over the top of Penny. round the bend a tacking duel ensued until Penny decided to cross the tide to the South Bank and Simon continued short tacking up the North bank thinking it was in the bag. It was not to be! Penny, re-crossing the tide rounded 100 yards ahead. This should not have worked but by now the wind was down to force 1 and that was where the wind was. After two laps Penny still lead from Simon and Matt had recovered to 3rd and another 100yards would have seen him pass Simon but this is how they crossed the line drifting on the tide. It was enough for the handicap one, two, three as we floated on the tide to the slipway.

So after 6 of the 8 races Penny leads Simon by a point and Matt is 4th behind the Comet. All to play for on the 11th December before we hang up our wetsuits till 2012……