A mix of fleets represented in the top 10 with light winds now predicted for Sunday
Datchet delivered crisp sunshine and blue skies but a fickle 5 knot breeze for the Saturday of the 2nd edition of the Datchet Flyer on 13th December.
With three races scheduled, the fleet was split into two starts with the RS300 being slowest (on Great Lakes handicap) boat assigned to the fast fleet. The wind remained marginally trapeezing throughout the 3 races, the occasional promise of more never materialising and finally dying away in the course of the third race.
With a strong port end bias the over exuberant fast fleet were recalled and a further recall before a 3rd start under black flag gave the slow fleet the opportunity to get away in clear air. The National 12s of Christian & Sophie Day and Jeremy & Luke Hartley revelled in the light, shifty conditions, together with Ann Jackson and Alan Skeens in their Enterprise. Steve Bolland found great lightwind speed in his RS300 to take joint 6th place with the RS200 of Jack Holden and Rosie Sibthorp but it was Jasper Barnham and Jonny Ratcliffe who showed pace from the start in their Merlin Rocket.
The second 2 races had a far squarer line with both fleets behaving on the starts, despite (or perhaps due to) the fast boats remaining under the control of the black flag. In the last race a couple of Merlin Rockets tried a cheeky port tack start, which Oli Turner & Hamish Kilburn achieved to good effect, scoring their best result of the day.
The race team sent results ashore after each race so by the time crews were changed and warming in the clubhouse they could send up the queries to be sorted.
Jasper & Jonny lead in the Merlin Rocket with a very solid 2nd / joint 1st / 3rd scoreline. The southern P&B team of McGrane, Wade and Vidall are getting more speed from the SK2 than Ian Pinnell did at Draycote and currently lie second.
Even counting their 21st in the 3rd race, Ann & Alan in the Enterprise are in a strong third position, understandably pleased with the forecast of strong winds for Sunday now replaced with 'more of the same'. Jamie Lea is forth in the Solo, just ahead of Charlie Cumbley in his new OK - very pleased to be top placed OK on launch day for this new Scholes boat.
On a testing day for the trapeeze boats Sam Barker, Musto Skiff, was 6th, the only other trapeeze boat in the top 10 being Tom Gillard and Richard Anderton in the 505.