There is Still Everything to Play For in the Louvre Autumn Sailing Series
We are now five races into the seven-race Louvre Autumn Sailing Series with the Guernsey Yacht Club, after races four and five took place over the last two weekends - with the final placings still wide open!
This series has been hit by unpredictable autumn weather, resulting in race three being abandoned, but competitors have still managed to complete three races out of the scheduled five to date.
Sunday 11th October brought northerly winds, however, after two weeks of no racing due to autumn gales, there was a good turnout on the water, including from junior sailors in the Class 8 Feeder class.
The Fast Dinghy class benefited from Dave Aslett’s vintage 505, Shock, coming out of retirement, helmed by Andy Bridgeman and crewed by her owner. Bridgeman and Aslett raced away from the remainder of the Fast Dinghy fleet and they finished just two seconds ahead of second-placed Asplund and King in RS200 Surprise Surprise.
In the same race, Knight and Coetzee in RS800, The Contractor, suffered a series of technical faults but, luckily for them, the start was delayed and they crossed the line with the rest of their fleet.
However, a combination of the strong wind, problems with the steering system and a jib sheet failure ended their race with six capsizes. A disappointing second race after their success in the first race of the series!
Sunday 18th October brought almost the opposite conditions for Race five-light winds from the east veering to the south.
Bridgeman and Aslett in Shock rounded the outer windward mark a short distance ahead of Nicky Barker and Reg Barker in their RS400 but the latter fell into a hole in the wind and were swept away from the buoy by the tide.
The wind filled in and Barker and Barker gave chase to Shock, finally finishing 20 seconds ahead after several legs of hard-fought racing between the two crews.
In the Slow Dinghies class, Dave le Page and Elaine Mahy in GP14, Dorothy, did not spot their class’s course amendment before launching and so sailed three laps of the windward/leeward course rather than the amended two. With the finish line being remote from the leg marks, they finished at the end of the fleet despite having been far higher up the standing at the end of their second lap.
Currently, Martin Boyde in his Laser, with two third places and a first under his belt, has a clear lead of five points in the Slow Dinghies class but in all the other classes - yachts, dinghies and windsurfers - the positions are much tighter.
With two more races to go, there is still everything to play for across the board. Full results are available at www.gyc.org.gg/results.