Exciting racing at 4th Fat Face circuit event at Hayling Island 29/5/07

RS400s visited Hayling Island over the Whitsun holiday for their 4th Fat Face circuit event.

The fleet immediately demonstrated their keenness by having the first of several general recalls with the black flag quickly present.

Tom Halhead/Chris Humphry recovered from an indifferent start, showing awesome upwind boatspeed, extending their lead through the race, winning from Nick Lowe/Elaine Marsh who held off a late challenge from Stuart Hudson/Roy Siever.

More names on the board for race 2. Again Halhead/Humphry were first to the windward mark, closely followed by Bill/Lynda Handley. Chris Hogan/June Riley hauled through to second with the Handleys third. The fleet behaved themselves for the third start. Halhead/Humphry again took line honours but this time followed much more closely. Second were Paul/Michael Allen, fresh after having watched the first two races as a result of black flags, followed by Dave Jones/Mark Hogan.

Sunday and wind began to build as a gale worked its way quickly east. The race officer was left with an unenviable dilemma, either send the fleet a long way out and risk the gale hitting while a long distance from the shore, or run the racing closer inshore, in an area where the seas would be shallow wind over tide. The call was made in favour of the latter and racing started in F6 gusts and a steep short chop.

The depleted fleet got away cleanly. Hudson/Siever showed they were masters of the heavier conditions with the Allens recording their second runner-up spot. With competitors half expecting the racing to be called off as they negotiated the debris of what earlier had been the 800 fleet, the race officer signalled for one last race. This was a rerun of the fourth with the top three boats as before. The race had been spectacular due to the sea state and everyone had a tale to tell of sailing into a wall of solid water at one time or another.

The Silver fleet was won by Richard Grayham-Eneck and Roland Walker in 13th overall.