Saturday met the fleet with a rainy launch in a light breeze. After a short downwind sail to the start line proceedings were soon underway. A shortish windward course with 5 laps to go, the whole fleet got off to a clean, well behaved start and worked their way up the shifty beat. First mark rounding lead by Jon and Juliet Gill, a trend that was due to stay for most races. In the second and third laps the wind became very shifty specifically nearing the windward mark. Rob Dunkley 550 had great boat speed but a few problems with the kite caused for a disappointing finish after a good race. Also a disappointing finish for newbies to inland sailing Chris and Kyle who had coped with the shifts and then went to the wrong finish mark.
Then a very civilised lunch stop, not the norm for the ISO fleet but warm pasty and chips or generously filled sandwiches were happily consumed by all.
Second race and an extra ISO joined the fleet. Richard Daniels with stand in crew joined us in 504 after battling through traffic to make the event. With a change in wind direction the fleet set off on a longer course but still 5 laps as the wind had now increased and crews could be tempted out on to the wire on occasion. Race two and three were closely contested throughout with some great racing had by all, but still being led by Jon and Juliet in 1003 (Tinky Winky). Day 1 had proved to be close racing, run promptly and fairly by a well organised race team. Tinky Winky did not go unchallenged but finished each race with a comfortable lead.
Saturday evening’s social was hosted by the most friendly club I can remember with a great bar and even better food, nobody went hungry and everyone had a good catch up with talk of next seasons events.
Sunday morning came with ice on the covers, a mist on the water and no breeze at all. It had been a cold night for the campers among us but all of that was forgotten when greeted by the clubs galley staff, who produced a fantastic cooked breakfast with tea for just £2.50 !!!
Sunday’s racing got underway an hour late but with the race officer making fast and good decisions we were able to get away to another 5 lap race. For a moment it looked like Tinky Winky may have a run for their money as Rob and Barry had a stonking port flyer and led for three laps, but Jon and Juliet slowly clawed back to yet another victory. Colin and Ali also came through at the last minute to take second from Rob and Barry in 1022. Richard, Rob D and Chris also had some close racing with lots of position changing.
Race Three and the gloves were off, with a more aggressive start for most and an individual recall for Tinky Winky and Serenity. This allowed the guys who had been battling at the back to get round the mark before the usual suspects. But then the inevitable, with another win for Jon and Juliet to give them 5 out of 5, they truly are in touch with that boat and are certainly on form.
More good food set out for lunch by the club followed by prize giving to the worthy winners. All in all a great weekend of racing, food and friends. Run by a fantastic and friendly club and a very efficient professional race team. Many thanks to all involved including all the team at Northampton Sailing Club, Noble Marine and Vantage Sailing for sponsoring the event and supplying prizes.
So another season of racing comes to an end. The question is what have you missed? We would love to see more of you ISO owners at an event. Do you want to have your first inland experience like Chris and Kyle at this event? Or do you want to come and challenge Tinky Winky? Come and help us challenge this crew that are so on form. Or if you just want to bash around the middle of the fleet and enjoy some good racing, food and drink with us please join us. I can’t tell you how welcoming the fleet is, with boats and crews of all standards. All are welcome.