Oliver, Tony, Austin and David went down to Hampton Court for Round 1 of the Met and Southern IOM District Championship on Sunday. It was a bright, blustery day, with “B” suits quickly becoming the norm.

It was my first visit to Hampton Court, and my first impressions were of a rather small looking lake in a bleak landscape (well, few places compare the wonderful aspect we get at Bury Lake!).

With the wind coming down the lake, it soon became clear that it as in fact quite large, with the course of long beats and runs. And it was indeed a long run chasing the boats as they zipped down to the leeward gate for another beat back. I can see why some 3 Rivers skippers felt that it would be too challenging to attend.

There were 28 boats entered, so there were 2 fleets. The conditions gave rise to quite a few general recalls, but generally the starts were incident free. The top skippers soon became apparent, and while Austin remained in the A fleet, we others oscillated between the two fleets.

We did achieve some high places in individual heats, with Austin finishing an overall 7th, David 10, Tony 13 (sailing a borrowed boat) and myself 14th. Full results at http://www.hcmyc.org/ms-dist-iom-championship-1-28216.html.

The organisation was good, but despite the large clubhouse, with an impressive array of IOM’s, RM’s and A’s, all rigged and ready to go, I think we are very fortunate to sail at Bury Lake.