With the strong westerly wind, blowing across the Abington Park lake. it seemed an ideal opportunity to set an upwind, downwind gate course with a reaching start. It took a while for everyone to get to grips with the starting technique and a couple of skippers requested the course was lengthened as the races were coming thick and fast. Thirteen before lunch and nine after! In such close racing it is inevitable that we get a few entanglements, and as there are no discards in XFS redress was generously given, enabling us to keep everyone in the hunt. Fortunes swung this way and that, especially between the two front skippers so that by the time we got to the final race John Burgoine had a one place advantage over Peter Shepherd, unfortunately just as it was shaping up to be epic with the two of them split by David Wilkinson, John took a wrong turn which just left Peter to make sure he came home safely to take the victory.
David Wilkinson, Mike Ewart and Graham Tite were locked in a battle all their own, often getting themselves ahead of the front two and just as it seemed they would come back at them either John or Peter would close the door once more. Nevertheless the battle between the three of them was good fun with Mike just winning out over Graham followed by David. Peter Jackson, Geoff Raygada and Trevor Thomas were just off the pace, and Paul Risdale only found his Wice had filled with water once he got home, no wonder he was having so much difficulty!
Most skippers opted for b or c rigs in the blustery conditons, the Slim derivatives mostly taking on the c rig, with the Ice's on the B rig, and Geoff Raygada's Bermuda rigged Fat Boy on his middle rig. Every race was well fought, with the tight nature of the course heping to provide close finishes in almost every case.
Rain showers came towards the end of the day, bringing with them two powerful wind fronts which the fleet had to survive, and by the finish we packed up in another shower with a quick check of the scores and the fastest winners anouncement I have ever achieved. If you missed it the scorecard is below, that being said it mattered not, as it wasn't really about winners and losers but the enjoyment of some fantastic racing this slightly unusual series format produces.
The next Footy races are the Birmingham Open Saturday 23rd July 2016, which incorporates the Midlands District Championship at Sutton Sailing Club, hosted by BMYC and the next Extreme Footy Series race is 6th August 2016 at Hollowell Sailing Club, hosted by APMYC.
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