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11 Boats gathered for the final assembly of the year at the river Blackwater. Good winds were promised and delivered. Within the line up there were a few face changes at the front of boats, Iain and Richard Marshall acquiring local youngsters, John Williams who hasn’t competed at an open for years joined Ian Rumble, but all ears were with Guy Welch for any insight into Andy Davis’s helming secrets.

With the afternoon tide there was plenty of time to have a few bacon rolls before launching, quite essential given the efficiency of the race team to turn around three races before the mud reappeared. As per last year the committee boat starts and triangle/sausage courses gave the feeling that boats would easily find there own space, but far from it, interaction was persistent making great racing again. Iain Marshall & Tom Segura demonstrated the best consistency on Saturday with Andy Davis & Guy Welch one point behind.

Sunday brought a little more wind and with it gear failure. Iain & Tom dropped out of Race 4 with a failed outhaul while Mark and Anita topped all others by breaking their mast. This left Alan Williams & Liz Pike in need of repeating their race 2 win to beat team Andy & Guy, but Andy & Guy had found their form to take home the trophies.

Before I finish, I must praise the dedication of my crew Caroline, although feeding the fish before race 5, she continued sailing until we too suffered gear failure. She was so discrete I didn’t even realise, I can only assume it’s practice.

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