Sunday, 26 March 2017


British summertime arrived with a bang yesterday, with sunshine and a very sensible amount of wind. Another thing that arrived with a bang was Pete Badham and Steve, only in their case it was just the sound of the forestay parting company with the deck. So that's what the little split-ring is for.... With another fireball still ashore sans crew and Peter & Ellen upside down, we were down to four boats when the start gun went.

The line being a bit biased, ie you crossed it a 90 degrees, everyone wanted to be by the committee boat, which led to a bit of congestion at that point. I had spotted Jane & Pat coming in from a jaunty angle upwind, and Bob & Paul sidling up from below, so we held back and watched as Peter & Paul wandered into the filling in the sandwich, and the whole lot then charged across the line a good 5 seconds early. The OD delivered his verdict - "You're all over except Mike" as we sauntered past and made a decent getaway.

Up to the orange thing parked by OL, although for a true beat you'd have had to have parked it on the patio of the clubhouse. Then a can-we-can't-we 3-sail reach to D. We 2-sailed out to X every time before hoisting the kite, whereas others did variously well just 2-sailing the whole thing - depending on how windy it was at the time. Gybe at D and 2-sail reach to Y, then a decent dead run to B and a hideous fetch back to M to start the next lap. Peter & Paul had some good reaches and were close enough at M that they overtook us on the next beat, but we rolled them on the next leg to D by virtue of going higher (for X) while they went straight there again. I think our detour worked, as we ended the leg with a bigger lead than we started it. After that, we just kept doing all the same things - go inshore on the beat and go via X on the reach, and we kept a decent lead. Bob & Paul were keeping up well in 3rd place, and Pete & Steve came through the rest of the fleet to claim 4th after a late start.

Sadly I was too broken to do the afternoon, so somebody else will have to explain that one. I did gather that Peter & Ellen, with boat freshly back from the menders, were in a collision with a Dart and will be taking the boat straight back there again. Doh!

Then later we did the AGM and prize-giving thing. Upshot, new fleet captain is Paul Anthony (cheers cheers), new fleet champions and deserved winners of most of the tinware are Peter Wood and David Merritt . Bob & Paul hoovered up most of the Silver fleet prizes. Many thanks to outgoing FC Pat Collison and the entire rest of the committee, all of whom are staying on for another year. Well done everyone!

Sunday, 5 March 2017


So that was quite funny. Paul rang me up to say it would be monster windy, so we shouldn't sail. I told him it would be OK, and we went up the club, and it was about a F2-3, so we rigged up. Iain & Tom turned up but didn't rig because it wasn't windy enough, so there were only 8 of us out there at the start line when the wind started to shift and build. Karen (on OD) set a triangle with a beat which matched the current wind and some reaches which were clearly going to be too broad and too close respectively, and off we went.

Having started near D, the course took us up to A, then M (a leg so short that the kite wasn't flying by the time we got there). Then the long leg down to H, which was always going to be too broad to be any fun, and was basically a run by the time we did it. We lost one boat up at M and Mo and Richard to a gybe halfway to H. Back off towards D, observing that the close reach was now a beat (Karen said she planned that way). We passed Jane & Pat on that leg - coping well with the rising wind. Peter & Paul overtook us at D, but then capsized on the short fetch to the gate, so we started the next lap in the lead.

The beat was now very one-sided as the wind had gone further West, and we weren't pointing too well, and this gave Peter & Paul a bit less work to do. Round A, on past M to get further inshore, then gybe and enjoy a broad reach to H, which was way better than last lap's dead run. But the cLew of the kite got caught round the base of the forestay when bagging it, so we went on past the mark and were promptly overtaken by P&P again. Somewhere behind us, Gordon & Bryan decided to call it a day, as the wind was becoming really full on. We had already lost Colin & Ellie and JT & Quentin to verticality issues. Paul & Ian were still going strong though, and not too far back either.

Back up to A again, hoist the kite, past M, gybe, and the wind was getting a bit biblical by this stage (I hope Iain & Tom were still watching). The wind had gone fully Westerly and we were able to trapeze down this reach fully powered up and only just able to lay H. Peter & Paul had about 40 secs lead, but that dissolved when we found ourselves pointing 30 degrees higher than them coming off the mark. They tacked back, and we found we had to tack to avoid them, and suddenly we were match-racing in a F6. Oh joy! Well we tacked and they covered, but their tack was slow due to a big wave arriving, and we took a bit of a lead. Up round D for the last time, and we managed to hold it together on the perilous fetch to the gate. Yay! P&P didn't, and capsized about 20ft from the finish line. They later said they'd let go,of everything in the teeth of a big gust, and still been blown over. So we did the only thing possible, we put the kite up and hooned back to the shore. By general consent, one race was deemed to be enough.