Race Reports

2011 Crystal Bowl

At last, winter is behind us. I hope. It certainly looked that way as 17 skippers and crews prepared to do battle for the Crystal Bowl Trophy - The first race of the summer calendar. For the first time, since the last time, we were preparing the boat dressed in t shirts. Unbelievable after what seemed to me the longest winter ever. Ok, I know Brian Sizer can talk with relish, and knowledge about the winter of 1947 being the worst ever, but I didn’t like the one we just had.

Race officer today, was crew from Zephyr, the catamaran. He was feeling much safer in the race hut, than he ever did on the boat. And I can understand why, to my knowledge the race hut has never capsized, or crashed into another boat. He was assisted in his task, by Hon Handicapper, Rich Craven, fresh out of hiding after issuing these years’ new handicaps. This year there were a few winners who gained a more favourable handicap, and a few losers, who took the news very badly, didn’t they Kelly?

The breeze ranged from light to non existent, so the race officers signalled a postponement.

Course L was displayed and the countdown started at 1.50. As this was a free for all, I mean a mass start; the starting area was quite congested, no one wanting to get too far away in case the breeze dropped and they couldn’t get back. Ramsey Mac in Ruffian stalked the line, like a great white, (Google it) in a tuna pen, seemingly intent on running down anything smaller that got in his way. (I wonder if he was bullied as a child). As it was a mass start, team Shameless were in amongst them, giving me the welcome chance for a few observations. When its class starts where off into the wild blue without a clue whats going on behind.

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2011 Winter Series Race 6

For reasons we shall go into later, there were no results for this Sundays race, however, there was plenty of racing on the Saturday…


Dave Clark, a sailing instructor, (doing well for himself now he’d split from the other 4, if your not into sixties music that will have gone right over your head, Google him) had come along on Saturday to give on water training to the sports boats crews. Crews from 6 boats attended the briefing in the Sunrise café. It was to be an over tide event, and as I needed to be back early afternoon, I crewed on Sin Bin, with Rich Craven on the helm, and retiring Commodore Steve, and Fred, from Ruffian.

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2011 Winter Series Race 5

It should have been a nice day; it had all the makings of being so.  A lovely sailing breeze, sea flatter than the top of Lee (Scaife) Beans head, daffodils threatening to burst out any second, and an occasional glimpse of sunshine.

Unfortunately I had the mother and father of all hangovers.  I can drink copious quantities of my alcoholic beverage of choice, with no side effects, (well my legs might get wobbly now and then).  My body treats every mouthful of ale like it’s greeting an old friend, “Come in, have chair, get warm, are there any more of you outside?, bring them in”.  Unfortunately, on Saturday night I indulged in rather more than is good for me, glasses of rum punch, provided by our retiring commodore and his good lady, at the SYC beach party.  It was good, too good, but now I was suffering.  I felt like Bruce looks.  I was advised by paramedic Craig, Skipper of the most expensive maxi money can buy, that it wasn’t the rum causing my predicament, but sleep.  You never have a hangover, until you go to sleep, and then wake up.  He has a point.

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2011 Winter Series Race 4

Fact, if you put 2 large people on the pointy bit of a ’70, you might as well saw the rudder off, but more of that later.

Race 4 of the Winter Series, and the sun was actually shining, and the breeze was light, to begin with. I was actually looking forward to racing today; it’s amazing how a bit of sunshine helps develop a more optimistic outlook on things. A healthy turnout of Skippers and crews prepared the boats in the watery winter sunshine, Ayup, getting a bit all Wordsworth their, back to the task in hand.

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2011 Winter Series Race 3

It’s not often I’m glad that work gets in the way of my sailing, but having seen the weather today, I’m quite glad it did this weekend. I want to sail in the same conditions you would expect from the Barth’s Bucket, (Google it) not those you would expect from an Inuit endurance test.

Just a few things to mention re race 2 of the winter series, which is now history, but worthy of note. Some of you may have witnessed Brian the Jedi Sizer having to be dressed by his minder Tony. It would seem that the Velcro fastenings of his offshore oilies had become fast out of sequence, thus trapping him into a contorted position. Fortunately Tony had the strength to free him from his Velcro manacles and set about putting his jacket on the correct way, even to the point of ensuring his mittens on a ribbon down each sleeve were the correct way around.

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