Race 4 Early summer series
The sun has started to shine, the heat is building, the wind…yes well the wind is still from the North, but nevermind that right now we are off to FFSC for Race 4 of the early summer series. A 10-15knot NE (yes really!), a flood tide (HW approx 2040hrs?).
club line
Haven (port)
Oystercatcher (port)
(observing channel marks at all times).
With the flood at pretty much peak flow the start was going to be like race 5 in the Spring series, start by the club – lots of wind and ; lots of tide or, start by Bawdsey – no wind and favourable tide to start.  Everyone was trialling the Bawdsey side after Simon & Henry’s demolition in race 5. it was going to be a bun fight, finding a lane, keeping clear air behind for the run out to the channel markers. Simon & Henry tried to lure the others into splitting sides but with a minute to go the whole fleet was mixing it up on the Bawdsey side of the river.
Champagne start goes to Max, wait a hooter and individual recall, champagne start goes to Tim O’leary, Oh dear, oh dear oh dear, he looks over as well. Give the bottle to Roger & Isaac (standing in for Jo), Rogers best start of the season (you’re really beginning to get the hang of it again now Roger👍) a tidy hoist saw them lead the fleet off the line.  Simon & Henry misjudged the time on distance and found themselves on the 2nd row with Chris Coe close by in his RS100, Mike Hill in the laser radial had that Ferry nightmare of seeing the fleet sail away from you as the wind dies for you but not them. Chris fresh from his epic roar round last week was looking for the right combination of downwind angles to make his tiger go…but not after the rudder had fallen off leading to a quick capsize to refit it (in fairness this might have been pre-start)
Roger & Isaac had to gybe out into the tide to keep the RS400 at full chat, this allowed the 2 who shall not be named anymore Tim & Max (both OCS and no returning) to lead round the first channel marker, Roger & Issac rounded, then Simon & Henry in the firefly, then Mike in the Laser radial, Chris Coe was taking the time to remember how to swim in 4 knots of tide, Chris Jones was finding the right balance and was now catching everyone up. Chris Jones and Mike found the ‘go’ setting and both overtook Simon & Henry. Roger & Isaac could hold the kite all the way to Haven so soon they had an unassailable lead.
Rounding Haven: Roger & Isaac (RS400), Mike Hill (radial) just in front of Chris Jones (slow tack Chris!), a long way back Simon & Henry (Firefly) snuck inside Chris Coe (RS100). A beat back to the club line before easing to get to Oystercatcher. Roger & Isaac had to add in an extra tack to make the red channel marker, the lasers managed it in one tack. Simon & Henry also needed the extra tack to make the channel, they were still keeping Chris Coe behind in his RS100 and doing their best to hold on to Mike in the laser radial.
In the river the strong flood rushed the fleet to Oystercatcher a good beat in the river and then freeing as the fleet past the ferry jetty. At Oystercatcher, Roger & Isaac gybed round and hoisted “taxi the copacobana!” they were tearing home pursued by Chris Jones also enjoying the fast sail home. Mike gybed round 3rd and a while later Simon & Henry, there was all sorts of calculations going on aboard the firefly.
“that’s 1928hrs when Mike rounded oystercatcher, think we are about 3minutes behind” Simon voices his thoughts
“I don’t think we are going to be last” Henry replies
“why not?”
“well, Mike is still on this leg, and  Chris Coe is behind us (swimming = not fast)”
“he won’t be for long on this leg though!”
True enough it didn’t take long for Chris Coe to sail past the firefly (dang these things are slow off wind!). Mike was still working to beat the tide past the ferry jetty, Simon & Henry trimming like demons to try to keep up. The last race of the series, they knew that Roger was a winner tonight and (probably) for the series, but it would be nice to get a result. Chris Jones crossed second, then Mike, then Chris Coe,  Simon & Henry. How would this wash up after Handicaps?
Well done it feels like Roger is truly back in the saddle againRace and series winner.

That’s two series done and team Scammell have a first and second. We are very happy – it shows how much Henry has improved over the last season, it seems that the racing is getting much closer, we are all beginning to get back in the saddle???
It’s Woodbridge Reggata this weekend plenty of stuff happening along the river wall, there’s also the Methersgate race starting at high noon on the FFSC clubline forecast looks good 10-14knots (plus maybe some extra sea breeze)

Photos credit: Alan Boyle Everything Felixstowe