We knew it was going to be windy on Friday, you could hear it in the trees on the campsite. So we went out to the start line with only one item on the agenda: Getting round in one piece. To this end I pulled every bit of depowering string at my disposal, and it still wasn't enough. So although we were going pretty fast upwind, we weren't pointing high enough or indeed going fast enough to get a decent placing.
It perhaps didn't help that our first tack after the start revealed a certain deficiency in my garments. On starboard tack, the waves were crashing over me and being shrugged off by the 'December spec' kit I was wearing. On port tack, I noticed a certain chilliness when the first wave hit, and a massive dampness after the second. Could it be that I had not zipped up the lower part of the drysuit? Ah yes, it could. So we parked up and sorted that out while a few more boats went past. Then round the top mark and off down the run, where the pole once again refused to go out without a big fight, which is just what you need while surfing down the backs of waves while doing about 20 knots. We fixed it though, and had some epic moments, including gybing halfway down. Then another struggle up the next beat and onto the triangle bit, with the 3 sail reaches. Only we didn't fly the kite on the first leg as it was too close and too scary. Out at the gybe mark, the trick was to make sure you gybed while surfing down the back of a wave, whilst picking your way through the upturned boats and avoiding the bloke on starboard who was planning to gybe a bit later, ie maybe Tuesday when the wind had dropped. We declared a full 'code brown' for this bit, but remarkably we pulled it off. We then left the kite in the bag for the 2nd reach.
Then one last slow beat, one more run, and a final short leg across to the finish line. We crossed it, congratulated each other, and promptly capsized. It came up well enough, but we decided that enough was enough, so joined the little procession of boats that were heading for the shore. The 2015was over.
And finally, a great pic of me, occluded by Paul of course, but definitely there...