Friday, April 17, 2015

Evening Series - Tuesday 14th April

Our first Evening Series race of the year.

We have a good turnout with 13 boats. The girls are in the majority with Marion, Vicky, Sue, Jenny, Ela, Lisa and Ann, Sneaky Laser Sailor has made an appearance. Tony is the solitary Finn and Simon has brought his two little girls out for a race in the Wanderer.

It’s a bright sunny evening with not much water and a light southerly breeze. Tony sets a course down the harbour, through the channel, followed by a short detour around a handful of marks on the way back to the finish.

What could possibly go wrong?

About a minute after the start it becomes apparent that we won’t have enough wind to get around this course. 10 minutes later, still within sight of the start line, I begin to lose the will to live. Every tack is into a header. The wind shuts down completely, swings 30 degrees, and slowly builds to 3 knots. This is the pattern for the rest of our race.

I started well enough and led down the river, but Tony’s Finn closes up. I ruin my race by parking in the mud and spent almost 2 minutes trying to get moving. Tony is long gone. He reclines in the Finn, I squat in the 300 looking like someone trying to use a communal shit-pit in a 3rd world village.

Sailing an RS300 in light winds / Sailing a Finn in light winds...

After 30 minutes of short tacking down the channel my legs and lungs are burning. There’s no way to get comfortable and the wind refuses to give me a break. I’m ashamed to admit that today I’m hating the race and feeling no love for the boat.

The Rowing Club is out in force with a constant stream of crews and coaches splashing past and upsetting what little balance and speed I can find. Some poor lads are charging up and down the harbour with a coach constantly yelling “pull harder, you’re lazy”. The same guy used to coach me once. If I was in that boat I’d stop rowing and punch him in the testicles.

Eventually I drift past Tony and, 4 minutes inside the 90 minute time limit, I cross the line. It’s getting dark and just 4 boats manage to finish before Mike, the race officer abandons.

I float slowly back to the club and spend the next 2 days wishing my legs and back would stop hurting. Possibly the worst sail I’ve ever had which is a shame because the sunset was lovely.
I finished last of the 4 finishers. Tomorrow promises too much breeze :(

Finally, my 2014 blog didn’t win the Club competition for the best cruising log.

The guy who won included sketches of windmills and stuff.

So here’s a picture I’ve drawn of me sailing last Tuesday. 

There was food available in the bar afterwards
My Tacktick compass arrived this week. I now know the windowsill in my office is facing north.
Aliens hadn’t sabotaged my boat which means I'm luckier than the Scow fleet.
There isn’t a Club AGM for at least another 51 weeks

Things to improve.
Legs and lungs. Either fix them so they work properly or leave them ashore.
Positive thinking – try some for a change
Find other things to do on evenings where there’s no wind - such as fit the Tacktick compass so I know which way the boat is pointing.

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