21 Dec Perry Pot Day 4 @ Itchenor SC
Despite the forecast of -1 wind-chill, the final round of the Perry Pot series somehow enticed 13 intrepid boats for one final blast round Chichester harbour before the boats are put away in the shed for their well-earned Christmas break and the skis are brought out in their stead.
With the sun shining the fleet launched in to a near perfect 10-14 knots and by the time they had sailed out the able race team of Notty and Caroline had a short windward/leeward already set up.
For photographic artistic licence the line had a slight starboard bias which in Race 1 saw Patterson/Tait jump the gun and having to go back. First round the windward mark was Jones/Fitz closely followed by Holman and guest crew Alex Knight. With the fleet splitting on the run and again at the leeward gate opting for wind or tidal advantage saw a few boat change places at the next windward mark. After 3 quick laps shorten course flag signalled the finish with Jones/Fitz taking the win with Patterson/Tait 2nd and Fitz/Dobson 3rd.
With no rest for the wicked and the race team keen to make the most of the conditions race 2 was fired off in quickly and again Patterson/Tait jumped the gun and had to go back again. With the change in tide options up the beat were thrown wide open with the fleet evenly splitting. At the windward mark it was Holman/Knight first with Fitz/Dobson close 2nd with Massy/Hillary Jones/Fitz 3rd and 4th respectively. Jones/Fitz gybe setting at the mark gave them the advantage of more breeze enabling them to get upto 2nd at the leeward mark. By the finish Jones/Fitz were clear ahead Patterson/Tait had sailed upto 2nd with Holman/Knight 3rd.
With a desire to return to the club before the Sunday lunch had run out Notty/Caroline got the final race of the series off in double-time. This time it was the turn of Massy/Hillary to be over the line (way over) and had to do a big bear away to get back. Having started correctly this time Patterson/Tait were first to the windward mark with the usual suspects close behind. At the leeward mark a starboard boat going for the starboard end and a port boat going the other way lead to a coming together to between Massy and Fitz. As the water was 6 degrees so recovered quickly but not before letting Morrison/Fowke and Jones/Lees though.
With the final shorten course of series and the season Jones/Fitz took the win and headed for home to allow enough time for Ed Fitz hair products to dry in time for the evening’s festivities.
Special thanks go to Notty and Caroline for some great officiating and for finding time to take some excellent photos.