Eddie decided to break with tradition by holding the novices race first, and this proved to be a wise move as it encouraged some members to try racing in the novice race first, before joining the other races later on in the week.
The novice race was open to all who had never placed first, second or third in a ranking race, and, as is typical of OCSG novice races, the winds rose to rather more than would have been ideal just before the start. In the event the race proved to be nerve racking, exciting and mentally exhausting - and that was just for those of us who were stood in the race box willing those on the water to sail well! DaveM, sailing his Raptor (with experimental new outhaul system) gained a convincing lead, but everyone sailed well in the trying conditions.
The First Four nations race was perhaps most notable for the impressive capsize recovery performed by Anthony and Ann, who did well to get the boat back up and sailing so they could start the race with the rest of the fleet. The front of the race saw some very close racing along with some frantic shouts of 'Starboard' followed by the crunching of fibreglass. DaveS emerged from the melee with just a small dint in his boat and went on to win.
The second Four Nations race was closer still, with just 5 minutes separating the boats in first and last place, a considerable improvement in overall standards from the situation in the OCSG a few years ago when 50 minutes or more would commonly elapse between the first and last boat arriving home.
I think Roland and Dan Denereaz would have approved of the course for the Dan Denereaz Race, a 6 mile lap around the island. Most went clockwise around the island, although Jeff and Eddie went the opposite way in the very shifty conditions and seemed to take a similar amount of time to the rest of us.