A fantastic 72 competitors turned up this year for the 7th Paignton Open for Single Handers (POSH), with a great selection of boats ranging from Europes to an International Canoe, and good sized fleets from the Blazes, RS100s, RS Aeros, Phantoms and newcomers Hadron H2s.
Alas the weather forecast wasn't what it had been a week before! The closer we got to the event, the lighter the forecast became, with 10-15knts from the southwest with sunshine, diminishing to 5-6knts on the day. But we did get the sunshine, and plenty of it!
For racing the fleets were divided into: Handicap, Blaze, RS100 and Fast Handicap, and all launched on time to sail the three scheduled races in light and tricky conditions on the first day. The three races each day were a trapezoid course to give everybody a bit of something with a condensed starting sequence and quick enough turn-around between races to prevent sailors getting cold when the sun went behind the clouds.
Saturday night saw the usual included-in-the-entry-fee reception and dinner prepared by our in-house caterers, Calvin and Jane.
Sunday dawned even brighter and more sparkly, with a forecast of 4-5knts from the NW and with the flags fluttering encouragingly on the pier, promising a better wind than Saturday, but the sunshine also threatened to give rise to a sea breeze. Again, the fleets launched on time and the first race of the day got away into what was probably a barely sailable breeze. 20 minutes into the race, the southerly sea breeze overcame the north easterly gradient wind forcing race officer, Ian Bullock, to abandon the race and the mark laying team to swiftly reset the course. The wind for the rest of the day remained broadly from the south, but never really established itself so the two remaining races were sailed in light and challenging conditions.