I’ve dusted off the quills, recharged the inkwell, and am back in business to report on the races for the autumn and winter series. Oh whoopy doo some of you may cry, but I was asked, and there is nothing for anyone to worry about, unless of course your actions on the race track (or off it) are brought to my attention.
This seasons races are going to be difficult for me to report on accurately, as now I’m a 707 skipper, or ‘70’ if you want to be cool, I’m going to be so far in front I will miss a lot of the action, so if any of you witness events that you feel deserve to go into print, please tell me. (No fees will be paid).
Before we get on to today’s action, or lack of it, I would like to mention briefly the nine gallon race. This years 9 gallon race was sailed on the 16 October in somewhat blustery conditions, that’s yacht speak for ‘cold, windy and wet and I wish I’d stayed in the pub’. 15 yachts entered, and I crewed on the ‘70’ Sin Bin. I figured if I’d got one, I'd best have a look and see how they work, perhaps I should have done that before the money was exchanged.
Race officer for the day, Peter ‘Jeeves’ Davison set a course with a lumpy cold wet beat to red can at Scalby, a reach to the Wheatcroft, and a close reach home. This was a pursuit race, and one or two skippers struggled to get the correct start time. Not least of these was Lee Bean, on the First 32, ‘whistle up your nightshirt’ who still struggles with ‘special’ and ‘double standard’ he should have paid attention at school, and not spent his youth chasing hawks like Billy Casper, (Google him).
The beat up to Scalby was wet, but once around the mark, the next leg provided some exhilarating spinnaker sailing. Revenge was to our lee when they had a spectacular broach, fully letting go the sheets and guys in the process. We aimed to sail below them, at one point it looked like we would sail straight through his spinny, which was blowing now some way from the boat, we cleared that, but then his spinny sheets were flailing wildly, and threatened to snatch our foredeck of the side of the boat, just like that film with John Wayne and the giant squid, (Google it). It was at this point, as we sped along in excess of ten knots, and I was just thinking I had made the right decision to buy a 70, when the boat fell over, big time.
The reach to the finish was a procession, and the first 3 places all went to ‘70’s, with Stormchaser taking the trophy.
So to today’s race, 18 skippers and crews had managed to turn the clocks back successfully and set their alarms ready for a 9am start. (Its too early!). Race officer today, Kevin Chatt - taking time off from training for 2012 - set course L, a small triangle using the easterly mark.
Five ‘70’s started first, with TS Sin Bin taking first over, soon, very, soon, to be overtaken by Humdinger, Stormchaser, and Second Fiddle. The light fluky winds meant those that caught what breeze there was, were away, and could not be caught. Unfortunately, Jack sparrows cat, and his partner, (I don’t mean partner in a Brokeback Mountain sort of way), Steve, one half of the Sparkle boys, and not the one that’s handy with a pair of scissors, didn’t find the breeze until they had been lapped by Stormchaser, who won the race, followed by Second Fiddle and Humdinger.
And what of classes 1 and 2? I don’t have too much detail here, as I’ve said, we were too far ahead, and crews in the club, were reluctant to talk. In class one, Revenge were skillfull in finding the breeze, to take first place. Lee Bean, crewed by his 2 glamorous assistants, Pip Rowntree and Sue Volans on the First 32, ‘Whistledown the wardrobe’, managed not to be over early, for the first time in 3 races, and that’s despite his watch being set on Dutch time. The Vice Commodore in Joker - nice hat Rudi - took second place, and surprisingly, I say surprisingly, because it’s a wonder he wasn’t on dialysis given the amount of ale he drunk the previous day, Bruce and Karen, took third, in their highly dangerous 1st class 8. (You needed to have been at the owners meeting to get that one).
In class 2, Brian Sizer, in Zeris, overtook boats that had started ten minutes ahead, and finished first, ten minutes ahead of his old adversaries, the turner family on B sharp. Team Pensioner on Little Jeannie, finished last, or as Jimmy ‘Spud u Like’ would say 3rd. But if there’s only 3 entries, and you come 3rd, that’s last, even Forrest Gump would see that.
Our steward Eddie, likes the early races, it means he can get home for the dancing and X Factor results, but as we all know his love of ‘Period dramas’ getting home to watch ‘Downton Abbey’ is always a bonus.