Weather forecast
 Easter Egg Series - Michael Gatehouse
Easter Egg series

Sunday the Fourth of April dawned bright and fair, or nearly. First thing, it was dull, with no breeze at all. The forecast was for a warm sunny day with gentle winds from the west. And so it transpired, although the gentle winds were sometimes there, sometimes not. And sometimes swinging round from the North West and gusting. As is usual for our stretch of the river.

We were running our first race since 3 November 2019, with all the RYA guidelines and COVID rules from the government to be observed. Two Mikes were OOD, AOD and patrol boat, and there were seven intrepid souls in boats - Graham, Josh W, Dane, Bryan, Nigel, Rodger and Alastair. Three races for the Easter Egg Trophy.

Firstly, it's important to mention that we had restrictions in place with regard to distancing, and that each member was self sufficient with food and drink, as the clubhouse was closed. Anti-bac and hand sanitation stations were in evidence, and all the appropriate rules were observed, which happily didn't hinder the sailing process, as the committee had planned in advance.

The first race, at 13:30 in order to give plenty of time for setting up, was a dog-leg downstream of the start line, with a top and bottom mark.    
It quickly became apparent that the wind wasn't boisterous enough for this, and the current was deceptively strong, so for the second and third races, something resembling the America's Cup course was set, with two marks up stream and two downstream, and with perfect timing, the wind picked up.

There was a bit of drama as the AOD had placed the port and starboard flags on the wrong marks upstream, resulting in some boats going through the marks and some going round the marks, all in a stiff breeze, causing some consternation and a few comments.

Happily for the AOD, all that was forgotten quite quickly, as in a different incident, a Bosun rammed a Skipper amidships with a satisfying noise. Incredulous gasps all round. Thankfully (and incredibly) no damage to the Skipper.

The Lasers came out on top, unsurprisingly, in the light winds, with their weight, displacement and decent sail area, over the Bosun, Graduate, Gull and Skipper but everyone had a satisfying sail, with minimal risk, and we think this will work for future events, and further ahead, opening up the club for normality again.