Considering this was the day after the night before, i.e. SYC annual dinner dance and prize giving, we had an excellent turnout of 19 boats, with skippers and crews in various states of hungoverdness. Some looked, rough, and I mean rough.
Bruce looked the roughest, but there are no prizes, as he has a head start. I’ve never seen him not look rough. Today, he was especially rough, and had obviously thought today was the first day of spring, and put his clock forward an hour last night. Why else would he have turned up 1 hour early for the race?
My ‘70’ is still in the shed, I had just been and had a shave on the keel, it’s that sharp. So being temporarily boatless, I was pleased to accept an offer from the Wolfman to crew on Humdinger. If I am going to straighten out the learning curve, then this was the team to be with.
However, the Humdinger boys have a reputation that preceeds them somewhat, tough, macho, ruthless, the ability to eat 3 Shredded Wheat (without milk). I had prepared for my outing by watching old WW2 movies with John Wayne, I needed to be tough. (Some hope). When I arrived on the boat wearing my pink lifejacket, I could sense the Wolfman thinking ‘oh my goodness!’ but spelt with a few ‘F’s if you get my drift. Wayne on the other hand seemed to have an envious glint in his eye.
Race officer today, Win Russell, assisted by Nigel Horne, a bit of class and culture in the race hut, set course L. North about to red, a very shy reach to the easterly, a reach to the green, a beat to the red flag, and repeat. It wasn’t a bonny day, overcast, cold and wet. A day when I would have normally opted to stay in the pub.
5 ‘70’s started first, with Sin Bin first over. At the first mark Tom Patrick’s Stormchaser were first round, a position that didn’t change for the rest of the race. Their helm, sporting a bright red balaclava, and yellow oilies was doing an excellent impression of a swanvesta, (Google it). Just a little word on balaclava etiquette. Grey is ok, blue not bad, black is cool with a menacing touch, but red gives the impression of an unlanced boil and for obvious reasons, pink is definitely out of bounds.
The positions after the first mark didn’t really change, only the distance between the boats. Tip for ‘Jack Sparrows cat’ on ‘A Grand Day Out’, don’t worry, when I put my boat in you’ll automatically go up the rankings by one place, and when you’ve been partying the night before, take time to get all your eye make up off before you go to bed.
9 boats in Class 1, among them Ramsey Mac and Emma on Ruffian, with more crew than you could fit on the miniature railway, students past and present. Dennis the Menace on Troika was hoping for better results today. It transpires that in the past, a certain boatyard North of Scarborough, whose name I wont mention to avoid court proceedings, (here’s a clue, a heavy outer garment worn when it’s cold), had installed the rig inside out and upside down. No wonder she previously had the windward ability of a cart horse with gout.
The 2 Hanse’s Steve and Steve, that’s Parker and Russell, Joker, didn’t see Boris Johnsons stunt double aboard today, Revenge, Kassy and Shere Kahn, with a crew of recovering alcoholics. I understand there were one or two how shall I say, spewers on Shere Kahn, Bruce couldn’t call for a manoeuvre until he had a least 1 crew not communicating with Neptune over the side. And last in the fleet, and that’s last in every configuration of the word, ‘Whistle up a shirt cuff 2’ with Skipper Lee Bean, ably, or unably assisted by ‘Autumn Liz’ Martin, and the Rear Commodore, Paul Chuckle, whom, I am told, slept all the way around the course.
In Class 2, 5 boats took up today’s challenge. The 2 Sonatas, with Yoda and his Jedi crew on Zeris, and 3 generations of the turner family on Bee Sharp. Looks like Granddad Turner should have been a bit ‘sharper’ avoiding that ladder he fell onto.
Kelly Hefner, on little Jeannie, had for the first time since Mafeking (Google it) was relieved, an able bodied crew, Sam and Adam, the Kennedy boys. Kelly must have been drinking the same beverage as Bruce last night, only he thought it was the first day of winter, and put his clock back, hence he was an hour late. Good job the Kennedy boys, were on the ball to prepare the boat so they did make the race in time. Tip on start line etiquette - bring your fenders in before the ten minute gun.
John Livesey, had remembered what day it was, what planet he was on, and had ‘Whistler’ on the race track. And last but not least, ok, I‘m being kind, last and least, the racing yacht Apollo, Skipper Paul Andrews managing to sneak time from his heavy schedule of protest marches, ‘Save Our Car Park’. The Sonata ‘Isabella’ were intending to race, but unfortunately co owner Jonny Mallory contracted a rare form of agoraphobia, and found himself unable to leave the security of his sofa. Let’s hope he makes a speedy recovery.
As for what went on during the race, I have no idea. We were that far in front we had to alter our watches.
The results were:
1st Stormchaser, (the Sea Cadets are organising a sponsored walk to pay the lift out fees when Stormchaser enter open races away from Scarborough)
3rd Sin Bin
2nd B Sharp
3rd Little Jeannie
I’m not typing that out again, you can check it on the web site in future.
Into the club, Eddie doesn’t like late finishes. As you know he loves period dramas, Downtown Abbey finished 2 weeks ago, but now it’s Garrows Law. Having said that, Eddie did surprise us by getting the caterers in whilst we were racing, and a splendid array of nachos, dips, olives and gherkins were on the bar for all to enjoy.
As you have probably guessed pink is my favourite colour, Fuchsia, pronounced ‘fooksha’ my best favourite, closely followed by fluorescent and hot. Pastel pinks are good on Sundays, but it doesn’t mean I’m SYC answer to John Barrowman, if you get my drift, and whilst where dispelling myths, The Wolfman and fellow Lycans (Google em) on Humdinger, whom I had worried about sailing with because of there reputation, could not have been a more friendlier and generous team to sail with.
So 3 myths busted, I’m not on the wrong bus, the Humdinger boys are not as scary as they would have you believe, (apologies if I’ve shattered your street cred boys) and Dennis isn’t a bad sailor - people just keep putting the wrong rudders, rigs and people on his boat.