Farmoor Reservoir was like Piccadilly Circus, with 160 boats of various shapes and sizes packed on to the reservoir. Unlike the previous Inlands, light airs prevailed for most of the day until the tail end of the third and final race saw the gusts kick up to 18 knots and caught a few people napping, with capsizes ensuing.
The fluky conditions tended to favour europes and some similar boats who made the most of the short, sharp gusts. Jon Tweedle (now dieted down to half the size he used to be for his Finn) was out in his newly referbed £300 machine and gave Malcolm and Pete a run for their money at stages. Emma's prior experience at small boats in big handicap fleets shon through and was able to get away from the others other than for a short time mid-race two when it looked as though Jon and Pete were going for the over-take.... Just remember the wind fills in (and therefore falls out) from behind! An honourable mention must go to "Pirate" Emma - a local youth sailor who was press-ganged into borrowing Caitlyn's europe.
It was a busy but well-managed foreshore, with more volunteers showing up than were actually needed, such is the enthusiasm for this event which has now become established as one of the most popular winter competitions. Pete Gray commented in his victory speech that this was the best run Oxford Blue he has seen. Traditional Europes' tea/coffee and home made cake followed in the club house along with the usual discussions of settings, kit and upgrading old boats out of hedges.