As usual, Fishers Green served up a challenging and enjoyable dayís sailing. This is the only place we sail at which has obstacles on the course in the shape of islands and the occasional shallows, so there are plenty of crucial decisions to make - do I risk sailing through the wind shadow? How close can I clip without ripping out a fin or a daggeroard? It all adds a bit of spice to the occasion. Saturday also had looming over us a weather forecast which threatened massive gusts later in the day, so many a weather eye was cast at the darkening clouds.
However, we escaped the hurricanes and got to grips with a course layout we hadnít used for some time, namely the S course. It was rather a small S course and the hot shots at the front managed seven laps in some of the races - that equates to 21 gybe marks, and 7 of them were right turns, the kind we have forgotten how to do what with all these Olympic Boxes! Piled on top of that were the shifty and gusty conditions which meant that it was impossible - or very imprudent - to relax for even an instant.
Eighteen sailors turned out, several of them travelling from the South Coast! Race One started off a rather short line but Rob Kent posted the first of his four bullets, followed by Nick Kidd, now making extremely fast progress on his recently acquired Demon, who finished ahead of Chris Gibson, the man from whom he acquired it! Young Andrew Robinson, sailing an 8.5, filled 4th place in his best race of the day. For Race Two our Race Officer lengthened the start line which reduced the carnage somewhat, and the race finished with the usual suspects in the first three slots but Jon Davis, on his first outing on a newer Tushy XR: Race sneaked ahead of Alan Jackson to take fourth place. Further down the fleet there was a battle royal going on between Matt Barton on his RS:X and Rod Davis on a raceboard, which Rod won by inches at the finish line thanks to a lucky puff of wind.
After lunch the wind had picked up a bit more, which seemed to favour Alan Jackson,or maybe he finally found the best way round the course. Whatever the reason he came in second to Rob Kent in both Race Three and Race Four, pushing Nick Kidd into 3rd ahead of Chris Gibson. Jon Davis grabbed a fourth place in the last race and Alexei Murphy, sailing a 6.8 Techno, blasted his way into 9th place as the first signs of the promised howling gales to come reached Fishers Green.
Overall Rob Kent took the honours, with Nick Kidd escaping with second place by just one point from Alan Jackson.
In the 5.8 Technos Galahad Wisbey managed to edge out Rebecca Kent by a single point, and when he collected his prize we were astounded to see a ghost of a smile on his usually serious countenance!
It was an exhausting day for all the sailors, there was no chance to lie back in the harness for more than a few seconds. Great credit goes to the youngsters who persisted in the cold, gusty and sometimes rainy conditions. If you can sail well at Fishers Green,you can sail well anywhere!