Slipper Musings welcomes guest contributions from sailors in the ESSC/ESC/TISC fleet. Here, Dave Cooper gives the view from his ISO in H&H2 ........
"H&H2 was a good example of our role in the ISO fleet, which is to demonstrate that the handicap is reasonable and Mike and Emma and Andy and Vicki are just good sailors. With a variable NE F4, it was inevitable that it would be a North Start to Echo and with 40 boats on the start line, it was always going to be exciting. We had a good spot aiming to be just East of the 'conveniently' moored fishing boat and for once we were on the start line at the right time, just ahead of Andy and Vicki and headed in the right direction. Everything was going to plan until a RS 400 decided to conveniently forget the starboard rule and forced us to tack to avoid a collision. The early tack led to a further two tacks, one to avoid the honourable Dinghy Secretary (a very wise move)before Echo. Meanwhile Mike and Emma had an absolute flyer to Echo and were flying the spinnaker before we half way there. The run to Little Deep allowed us to establish a little clean air and begin the nip and tuck racing with the RS 400s and 300's that form the basis of most of our racing. We were still probably 3 minutes down on Mike and Emma at this point; just to emphasise the importance of a good start and clean air. We certainly had a good tussle with Dave Acres in his 300 just managing to pip him to Tye but losing out on the way back up to Shepherd. Shepherd to Walsh was great fun with the ISO planing most of the way. The reach back down to Northney was tricky though as we struggled to keep the boat flat with the ISO's large kite flying and lost ground to a couple of 400's including Alex Thorsby and Tom Kennedy. The beat back to the line was hard work and tactical against the two 400s with a number of significant wind shifts (might have to have a word with Father Christmas about a compass). Not our best race ever, coming in exactly half way down the fleet but still good to be out on the water with so many other boats and engaged in genuine racing whilst staying upright in gusty weather. Many thanks to the race officers and patrol boat crews and of course to my crew, Ed Parker Jervis for an enjoyable event."