Sunday, 3 April 2011

3 April 2011 - Not the Firebowl Event

The forecast said 10, maybe 12mph, and the forecast was right. The fleet calendar said it would be day 1 of the Firebowl event, but nobody had read the calendar or reminded me, so that got postponed. Apologies to anyone who came up expecting a special event, but I reckon we all had a pretty good time anyway. Doubtless captain Richard will email us prior to the next one and we'll all be organised.

So, off we go to the start, not much wind, a bit of grumbling from the crew as usual. But the fabulous (Fireball) OD team were a little late getting the line and course sorted, and by the time we eventually started the wind was a bit more interesting and Badders had turned up too.

So beat up to 'B', and early on it looked as though it paid to go up the far shore, but this invariably leads to C, and that's not a nice place. So we bailed out halfway up and went out, found more wind, and ended up first round the mark with Peter/Mike and JT/Graham close behind. Nice 3-sail reach down to 'T', gybe, 3-sail reach to 'X', tack and a short one-sided nasty beat to 'K'. Now given that it's difficult to overtake on short one-sided nasty beats, there is still a lot of confusion in my head as to how we lost the lead there. But we did. Then a run down through OL to 'J', 3-sail reach across to 'E' and start the next lap. As I spent the entire of the rest of the race chasing Peter/Mike (unsuccessfully), I wasn't looking too hard at what everyone else was doing, but when I did look back it looked as though everyone behind us was having a right old ding-dong, with mucho shouting and luffing up and place changing and a few near capsizes too. Perhaps Pete will fill in the details for us...

Anyhoo, that race ended rather too soon, so off for a nice long lunch and a chance to dismantle my 49er trailer.

Then ho for the 2nd race, and the wind had picked up a bit more, fantastic! Badders managed to cross the fleet on port tack on this start, but he got it a bit wrong and passed behind the fleet instead of in front  Peter & Mike were first round the top mark this time, followed by Mo & Holly and then a little pile of boats with us somewhere near the front and Graham & Theresa, Helen & Paul, Badders & JR and everyone else all close behind. The reach was to 'K' this time, which was closer than the morning's reach, but not by much. Mo & Holly zoomed off and went to play with Peter & Mike, while I berated the crew for being too heavy. 'OL', 'J', and then a reach to 'S' followed by a run to 'G'. Mo & Holly caught Peter & Mike, and then took the lead when the latter pair went way past the next mark 'P' in a clear bid for the Pigeon Trophy. Quick run to 'E' and start again.

The next lap was much the same, except that the wind picked up by the time we got to 'G', and we made good use of the fatter crew to overhaul Mo & Holly on the last beat. Although I have to say that it wasn't easy, they point pretty high and go depressingly fast, we had to split tacks and find a personal lift as well in order to get past. But it was good - the boat was bounding upwind like a boundy thing, great fun. Zoom round 'B', whereupon the wind went a bit more Southerly too, making the last reach to 'K' quite interesting.

Then, all sailed out and with due regard for the bit of the calendar that I *had* taken note of, I went home to make the tea.

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