Icebreaker 2017 Event One: Datchet SC - Sat 4 Nov:
We had an excellent turnout of 25 sailors for our first Icebreaker of the season at Datchet SC which meant we had six whole teams competing. The ages ranged from 9 years to 80, which must say something about the attractions of windsurfing!
The forecast was not too threatening but there were plenty of dark clouds around. A major factor was the lack of water in the reservoir, it was almost on the sandy bottom at the edge of the concrete which made it feel like you were sailing at the bottom of Wembley Stadium - which of course helped to produce some complicated and fluky wind as it swirled over the top of the banks of the reservoir. Just getting your board and rig to the water's edge was a serious undertaking.
Race One was sailed in tricky conditions, with many unexpected sharp gusts which upset the unwary. Lewis Barnes (Hotshots) set out to make his mark on the event by taking first place, ahead of Jon Davis (LWA) and Rob Kent (Team Kent). Further down the fleet 9 year old Guy Gibson (The Casuals) managed two laps, sailing an RS:X with a 3.5 sail! Casualties of the wind included Alan Jackson who damaged his back and Brian Tilbury who broke a mast.
Race Two continued to present tricky conditions, one moment you were hanging on for grim death and the next there was nothing at all! This was where Toby Cave (Hotshots) took his first step to overall victory on the day. His fourth place in the first race was consigned to history as he crossed the finish line ahead of the pack, followed by Rob and Lewis.
The sun actually appeared during lunchtime and we hoped for a sunny afternoon, but it was not to be. However the wind did settle down somewhat which made racing easier. In Race Three Toby once again took first place ahead of Lewis and Rob.
By the time Race Four started the weather had calmed down to a fairly steady seven knots or so and this completely upset the finishing order, Rob was first across the line, ahead of Nick Kidd (Farmoor Flyers) and then Toby. Lewis somehow slipped way out of sight - but it was of course his discard.
Congratulations should go to Toby Cave for his splendid victory by a single point over Rob Kent, also to Guy Gibson for his persistence on completing all four races in what was only his third competitive event. Also to Laura Tait for her consistent results on her Techno. We welcomed two newcomers to our events in the shape of Martin Gunn who brought his newly acquired Mistral Equipe One and UKWA sailor Kevin Greenough.
The Hotshots chalked up a narrow victory by a 6 point margin over Team Kent who were some 30 points clear of third place Farmoor Flyers.
1st: Hotshots 57 points
2nd: Team Kent 63
3rd: Farmoor Flyers 94
4th: LWA 144
5th: The Casuals 184
6th: Seavets 202
1: Toby Cave
2: Rob Kent