“You’re writing the report!”
OK – let’s be clear about this one. I am NOT writing a Yachts & Yachting report for an RS300 event where I was too far behind to see who won and too busy trying to stay upright to notice what the weather was like or whether the start line was good, bad or indifferent. The only thing I remember is there were never more than 6 boats behind me and even if I knew who they were I’d be accused of cyber-bullying if I mentioned them by name. Nobody needs a defeat by me mentioned in the yachting press.
Even though I didn’t get near him all weekend, poor Steve Bolland hasn’t won any events that I’ve been to and it was also mentioned that there is never any wind on Sundays when I turn up. Rich Le Mare’s trailer collapsed on the motorway last time out simply because I was following him. I am bad news for this fleet on so many levels.
One other reason NOT to write a report is because I’d be obliged to mention the fact that we were sharing a course with Phantoms. When a class of boat requires you to bring several rigs to an event just in case the wind changes it’s not really a one-design, is it? And the “I’m still racing, GET OUT OF MY WAY” shouts from their back markers confirmed my suspicion that the fleet is full of elderly, tubby, humourless jerks. I speak with some authority on this matter as I am elderly, tubby and often humourless and I also spend my weekends in the company of Finn sailors. I don’t suppose Yachts and Yachting would publish that.
While most of the fleet slept in cars and vans, I managed to find a nearby B&B. Next year I’m going to sleep in the car. The landlady was well intentioned but fussy. We had to sign a disclaimer to be able to use her internet and she insisted on typing the Wi-Fi password personally on our behalf. Having a browsing history is a bad thing. “Please, Carolyn, I want to Google “Bukkake” and can’t remember the password” We also parked half a metre too far from the lawn and blocked her drive. It deserved a mention. And my hikers dripped onto the bathroom floor while they were drying. It deserved a mention. And for £95 I think a rasher of bacon, a fried egg and a chipolata would have made a nice accompaniment to the muesli.
The Saturday meal at the pub was very pleasant. Sitting with Alistair “Two Soups” McLaughlin, Mark Taylor and Steve Sallis made for decent company and the food was excellent. A fresh-faced young person called Oli arranged it. Perhaps I should invite him to be a Facebook friend. There were about 10 of my Facebook friends in the pub and I didn’t recognise any of them. Facebook friends aren’t like real friends. You don’t forget their birthdays because Facebook reminds you. You can say “Happy birthday” without buying them a gift and you remember the names of their kids because the little darlings get mentioned in posts every time they use the bathroom correctly or pass a test.
Richard Le Mare invited me to be his Facebook friend just last week. I discovered this is because the warranty on the boat I bought from him last year has expired so he’s no longer worried that I’m going to complain about all the breakages.
Meanwhile – back to the sailing. The race winners were Tim, Steve, Sam, Sam, Sam and Sam.
In the Yachts and Yachting race report I’d be obliged to mention that there was a northerly breeze although as far as I could tell it came from every direction except the one I wanted it to come from.
Every report tells you the race officer set a start line and the boats that started in clear air, spotted the shifts and went fastest (i.e. the best sailors) enjoyed an unfair advantage over me; which is why more than 20 of them always reached the windward mark before I did.
At this point in the report you would be provided a long list of names, probably in the order they rounded some marks. The most common name in the fleet was actually "Chris" as there were 3 of us. Just behind us, with two each, were the Steves, Alastairs, Daves, Marks, Richards and Ians. The poor guys who couldn't even muster a single namesake included Sam, Luke, Tim, Stuart & Mike. But if you sail as well as these folks it probably doesn't matter.
|"In wide, out wider" Another outstanding mark rounding by 393|
The report should include some comedy moments. There were some capsizes on Saturday when it was windier than Sunday. I capsized first by attempting a gybe but fortunately this was before racing. Steve Sallis, a very good sailor, capsized during a race when he was 4th which proves how difficult RS300’s are – even for the best guys. Storky “2 Soups” fell in on the run but still finished miles ahead of me. Some of the slower guys (by “slower” I mean less than one capsize ahead of me) also fell in and elevated me from 25th to 20th or 21st in a couple of races. Some of the Phantoms capsized while tacking; their sailors rolling like lardy marbles from the high side to the low side of their boats. I think I’m probably more of a Phantom sailor than an RS300 sailor. It’s a depressing thought.
And finally, every report mentions the prize-giving. We had one, too. A young man from the sailing club, wearing a red jacket, said some kind words. Pete and Steve presented some RS300 prizes – mostly to each other. Sam won so he also said some nice things about the sailing, thanked his parents and his girlfriend, and observed wistfully that he’d like to drink beer when he’s old enough. The Phantom sailors presented themselves with some prizes and we all went home, listening to the Scotland – Australia rugby on our car radios.
Here are the results, in case you've missed the official race report: