The breeze looked a little light as we reached the dock, but the forecast promised that it would increase by about midday. So we headed out to the Great Sound to see where the RC would be today. We found them beyond Pearl Island, with the line set almost parallel to Alpha course.
Race one was a two lap affair. We thought the right looked to be favoured, so we made sure our start line position set us up for that. We were rewarded with a great upwind and managed to round the mark just ahead of New Wave. But Trevor Boyce knows a thing or two about downwind racing and had passed us before the mark rounding. That left us battling with the other two Bermuda boats, Siren and Jezebel. We managed to hold them off to make it a Bermuda sweep of the top 4 positions.
Race two was a 3 lapper after the course had been moved. We had another great start but got pinned on the left when we wanted to go right.New Wave went right and did well, and Siren and SpoRHADiC were trucking upwind. The long course saw a number of position changes, and Catlin V were not doing as well as they had been on previous days. New Wave again showed their dominance with a clear bullet, and Doug Inglis’ crew on Sadiiqi grabbed second ahead of Siren. We were racing with SpoRHADiC but they sneaked ahead at the finish to take a well-deserved fourth. Catlin finished just behind us in sixth.
We had time for a sandwich before race three of the day. Another 3 lap course, but this time with a windward finish. Bots split left and right at the start, and Siren, on a flyer, were first around the top mark by a long shot. New Wave were in second, followed by a group of six boats in close contention. Sadiiqi decided to match race with SpoRHADiC on the downwind, letting us sneak into position, and Shogun and Catlin were flying. The upwind finish made all the difference to the results. At the mark rounding Siren were just ahead of new wave, but not seeing a laser meant a big duck at the finish, allowing New Wave in for their third bullet of the day. Siren were over second, with Catlin and Shogun over the line third and fourth. Jezebel, who had had a good race, were next over. Behind them, we were fighting with Sadiiqi and SpoRHADiC - Sadiiqi were leading but took the knock tack, and SpoRHADiC had to crash tack to avoid a laser sailor. That was all we needed to grab sixth.
Back at the dock it was time for the now (in)famous J24 Dock Party. Yours truly was able to sample all of the cocktails and can report that, in my opinion, New Wave’s was by far the worst beverage, with the best tasting a toss-up between the Gripper Ripper and the Bloody Caesar with Seaweed. Our official drinks jury will announce the official taste results at the Friday Night Prizegiving party. It is a good thing that Wednesday was the lay day. Some of the photos from the Dock Party are shown below. For more go to the Dock Party Flickr set. Photo of New Wave in action on the water is courtesy of Pete Ramsdale.