Race 3 of the Autumn Series, how fast is autumn going, (not fast enough for me, I’m waiting for the daffs to start showing).
I had decided not to race today for several reasons. Metcheck’s earlier forecast of 420mph winds from the north east had made me slightly weary, if that forecast came true, I would need some really strong string to keep my bonnet on with, and as I’m preparing my new 70, (that’s Hunter 707 for the uninitiated), I needed the time to get my keel, which is now honed finer than Taras Bulbas sword (Google him), ready for the anticipated launch day. Date to be announced and you’re all invited. I had also been fired from TS Sin Bin, now the regular crew had returned, cast aside like an old oily rag, but I bear no grudges.
Forecast of winds strong enough to blow the sugar out of your tea didn’t deter 16 brave teams from preparing for today’s race. Four boats entered in the 70 class, Humdinger, with the Wolfman and his team resplendent in matching oilies. Team clothing is always good, not only do you look like a finely tuned team, but if you get into a fight in the pub you know whose side you’re on. Sin Bin, with owners little and large, sorry, Richard and Richard back from there various escapades abroad, Stormchaser, with owner Tom, still distracted as he tries to find funding to enable him to lift out for various open meetings next year, and the new kids on the block, Grand Day Out, owned by Jack Sparrows cat, and one half of team Sparkle, (not the one that’s handy with a pair of scissors).
In Class 1, eight boats entered, among them, Ramsey Mac on Ruffian, with a new consignment of navigation school students, (my how their calm tranquil lives are going to change, they’ll soon be wishing they had joined the TA, they’d get shouted at less), Bruce and Karen, on the very dangerous Shere Kahn, had amongst their team, Wykeham Lakes Sailing School proprietor, and former guest of the Iranian government, Sam Usher. What might be referred to as ‘shipping a ringer’?
Commodore Steve, and Steve ‘the running man’ Parker were out in the Hanse fleet, with Vado and Grautvonix, teachers past present and future on Kassy, (the original slow boat to china). ‘Revenge’,’ Joker, and ‘Whistledown a tramps vest’ making up the rest of the Class 1 fleet. Missing from the fleet today, Dennis the menace in Troika. He’s busy fitting go faster appliances, (well he couldn’t fit anything that would make it go slower).
3 Sonatas, whoops, that catches me out every time, 2 Sonatas, Brian Sizer (Yoda to his friends and fellow Jedi), in Zeris, with his regular crew, and the one half of team Sparkle, the one that is handy with a pair of scissors, and his nemesis’ 3 generations of Turners on B Sharp, were the 2 sonatas, then Tom Clarks Foxterrier, the boat that wants to be a Sonata. Crewed by Tom and Nicki, both feeling a little under the weather, after the previous days celebrations at the naming of the new dive boat, ‘Neptune’. Kelly Hefner in Little Jeannie made up class 2. Sailing shorthanded, (no pensioners today, well except for one).
Whilst your Googling, have a look on Youtube, for a video called ‘Sailing off Scarborough’, a short film by our rear Commodore. See if you can spot the lookalikes, Phil Mitchell, Ali G, (without a beard) and Alan Bennet. (Thora Hird was filming).
Race officers today, SYC’s answer to Mitchell and Webb, (Ill leave you to work that out) set course M, to port . Light winds and a left over NE swell meant this was never going to be pleasant, or fast. Sin Bin were first over in the 70, Joker and Zeris in the following 2 classes. Meanwhile, Captn Bean on ‘Whistedown a drainpipe’ was still trying to head north to get the right side of the start line. That’s the 4th race in a row where his timing has been shall we say, off the mark. I’m beginning to wonder if he’s been sold one of those dodgy watches that many of the skippers have also been sold, from a well known purveyor of fine jewellery. Or maybe he really can’t tell the time.
After 30 minutes the fleet rounded the green, and hoisted Spinnakers. It’s at that point, I’m ashamed to say, I lost interest, and rushed out to watch the paint dry on my keel. Several boats retired, and I think that would have been me had I been out, but some, (must have very bad home lives, or be members of the temperance league), carried on to finish.
Sin Bin, (guess I wasn’t missed) took first for the 70, Shere Kahn, a well deserved, (despite the ringer) 1st in class 1, and Bee Sharp in class 2. (Don’t worry Brian, there’ll be other days)
A 14:30 start was always going to mean a late finish for our steward Eddie. He could forget the Dancing and X factor results, and Downtown Abbey would have to be watched tomorrow on Iplayer.