Sunday, November 9, 2014

Winter Series Race 1. Sunday 9th November

November 9th is Remembrance Sunday.

It's two weeks since the last outing and my wetsuit is still damp. It remembers the last sail. 

The Scow fleet are moaning about the 11am start they chose for their race 10 months ago. Apparently it clashes with the minute's silence. I'm fond of our elderlies but I sometimes wonder how they managed to win 2 world wars.

Mind you, if the Germans had invaded the sheer volume of complaints from our Scow sailors would surely have persuaded them to pack their bags and head home to Berlin. Angela Merkel should try serving a year as our Sailing Secretary.

To make matters worse, last night my brother complained that I'd not reported the race results in my last blog.

Well, it's a blog not a race report but to keep the Big Ginge and his dad happy I'm happy to report that I didn't win either race and I got my backside well and truly kicked by my nephew.

On Saturday Jack won. I was 4th. On Sunday Luke won. Jack was 2nd. I was 6th .

Glad to have cleared that up.

Today is bright and sunny. 14 boats take to the water with virtually no wind but high hopes that a breeze will emerge.

Shortly after launching I cross paths with the wire-haired terrier in her Radial. “Not looking very good, is it?” “I don't know, I haven't seen it”. Weather-based banter isn't my forte so I treat poor Sue to a short lecture on positive thinking before pumping my way downriver (I mean pumping the sail – not the rude version of the verb)

Among the 14 plucky competitors we have 2 Toppers and Mirror.

One of the Topper sailors was very drunk last night so we elected him Class Captain. He's struggling to grasp the consequences this morning “Darren, meet Keith. Keith sails a Mirror Dinghy, he's your responsibility now”. If Darren was returning to the scene of the crime hoping Saturday evening was a bad dream – his hopes are dashed.

We have the Rusty Rudders girls today and shrill noises shatter the early morning calm. Jenny, Julie, Anne, Gail, Lisa and Sue are in fine voice. They have impressive lungs. I retreat to a quiet place in the harbour amongst the wading birds and we watch from a safe distance as they are towed past.

Tony, still blushing from the high praise we lavished on him at last night's Junior AGM, has turned out in his Finn. So has the sneaky Laser sailor along with Mike and Glen. Peter Howard has forgotten his drysuit and remains ashore.

Beasley is the race officer. We assemble in no wind at the start. I suggest a postponement. He has a flag for that – which is handy. We discover that this is also our class flag so removing the postponement 30 minutes later becomes tricky. He takes the flag down promptly hoists it again. Tony has fallen asleep. He wakes up and arrives nearly 2 minutes late for the start.
Drifting around before the start.

Mike Greenland decides enough is enough and heads for home shortly before the start sequence. Shame really – he did the hard work getting there and just as the breeze arrives he bails out.

The start is a reach. The Rusties are all on the line and pointing towards the 1st mark. I'm so shocked that, once again, I bugger my own start and arrive a few seconds late at the line.
Trademark (bad) start by your author. Jenny leads.

We creep towards number 3 mark.

Gary is whinging at Jenny who appears to be trying to whack him on the back of his head with her boom. Julie joins in the assault using her Topper boom. Much as I appreciate the ladies' efforts to tag-team Gary I grudgingly accept that the racing rules are in his favour on this occasion.

We'll hear more about this back at the Club later.

Staying to leeward of the bunch I eventually break through the pack and round ahead with Tony about 30 metres back in his Finn.
Tony approaches number 3 followed by the wire-haired terrier

We beat towards number 4 buoy. The tide is ebbing strongly and the wind is barely 5 knots and very fickle near the shore. Sue is close behind Tony and the lasers are staying close. Today's race will be interesting as the wind slowly builds. Can I get away?
Tony leads Sneaky rule 42 Monkey and wire-haired terrier to number 4

In short, the answer is “no”. I reach down to number 5 with Tony about a minute behind as the fleet spreads out. A beat across to number 7 and the gap doesn't grow. We stretch away from Gary and Sue and head onto a long reach back up the harbour towards number 3 against the tide.

Beasley has been filming the rule 42 monkey in the Laser but as I approach number 3 he departs in the direction of number 4 buoy – our next mark of the course. As I round 3 I look for a shortened course flag – nope. I head across the tide and beat towards the next mark. Tacking onto the starboard lay-line I notice the “S” flag has gone up. 36 minutes after our delayed start I cross the line. Tony is just under 2 minutes back – close enough to give him the win.

The fleet follows us home – Gary just ahead of Lisa with Sue about 30 seconds back. Last boat to finish is Darren in his Topper. He's made a promising start as Class 5 captain – they had 3 boats out today and he generously followed them round like a faithful sheepdog.

We arrive back at the Club for lunch. Beasley attempts a Rusties de-brief with turns ugly as Gary attempts to bluster it out with the Ladies. There's only ever going to be one outcome to this one. You don't mess with the wire-haired terrier. Gary retreats. Peace returns and Beasley orders a large baguette. Normal service is resumed.

I got my arse kicked again today, by the way. Just in case you're reading this, Jon.

Results (for Jon)   
     Owner                   Class    Place
1    Tony Lock            Finn         1
2    Chris Arnell          RS 300    2
3    Lisa Booth            Radial      3
4    Sue Haynes           Radial      4
5    Gary Mehson        Laser       5
6    Jenny Barnes         Radial     6
7    Gail Howard          Radial     7
8    Ann Hadley            4.7         8
9    Glen Tizzard           Laser     9
10    Mike Greenland    Laser    11 (DNS)

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