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.
Mick Cowper managed to prise his Sonata T 4 2 away from the pier side to enter the race, (getting first over in the process) but that was only because everyone else in his class was over early, (has Sizer been flogging those cheap watches again.) His crew for the race, Martin Gledhill, now with time on his hands since his regular work as an ‘extra’ in Last of the Summer Wine had finished with the series demise. They went on to demonstrate how many wrong ways there are to fly a spinnaker before retiring from the race.
For the first time since records began a Scarborough yacht declared having more crew than Team Ruffian. Kelly Hefner of Team Pensioner announced 7 to Ramsey Macs 6. Word is that Kelly hijacked a coach at the Staxton roundabout, the occupants of which, from a rest home in the Black Country, thought they were going to the Esplanade for a Turkey and tinsel weekend!
Another event, heartstopping in its uniqueness, Kassy was on the podium at the finish. Hard to believe but they came second ahead of Grautvonix. Bet the running man wasn’t happy about that. (If he loses any more weight he’ll look like a matchstick with the wood shaved off.) And, in the 70 fleet, Shameless were not last.
Enough reminiscing, the race officers today, Nick Taylor and Robin Grey, set course E to port. They were assisted in their duties by Rich Craven, another 70 sailor that had a convenient excuse not to race today because it was cold! Incidentally, this was the course used for the last race, only then, one of my crew, no names Adam, thought it read course L, so that’s what we were setting up for. It did dawn on us at the 5 minute gun, when we were the only boat south of the line, that he may have read it wrong. The worrying thing is he’s in the RAF, thankfully not in bomber command.
A fresh SSE breeze and temperatures that would let you hang onto a ‘Cornish Mivvie’ (Google it) for the entire day greeted the crews. 707 class were first to start, the Wolfman and his team on Humdinger, got first over, and that’s the position they held for the rest of the race, closely followed by Stormchaser. Blue Rusher were next, followed by Jack Sparrows Cat, and Steve Bramham, in Grand Day Out. They were that late for the start they must have been on a grand day out prior to the race. Interestingly, they were the only 70 to reef the main, sensible, or what’s that I’m having for dinner, oh yes, chicken.
There were 9 boats in the heavy weight class, Team Ruffian were running the line, but in a very close start, (for most of them) Swan shot took first over. After an impressive start for Swan Shot, things went rapidly pear shaped, (I’ll have to Google that) when the spinnaker fell overboard. If you’ve seen it, you’ll know that’s big kite, and it took a lot to get it back on board, the 50 Kit (don’t Google it, a kit is 10 stone) of whiting that they pulled in when they retrieved it, would have been compensation, but sadly, Swan Shot has no quota, so it was all discarded. Swan shot retired at this point. Other casualties in the heavyweight class were Kassy, not sure why, Team Pensioner, (they were all cold and needed cocoa and tartan blankets) and ‘Whistle up an Eskimos neck band’, skippered by Lee ‘Mr. Bean’, and crewed by Paul, I do love Scarborough and part time prison warder, Lester, and Martin ‘last of the summer wine’ Gledhill. They had to retire because the headsail decided to plait itself with the spare halyard, an incident easily avoided if the spare halyard is brought back to the mast. Oh, I never thought of that. But they weren’t going to win, you could wallpaper a small room in the time it was taking them to complete a tack. At the finish it was Ruffian that got 1st, Dash 2nd, and Revenge 3rd. Grautvonix 4th and Windshear 5th
Only three boats in the lightweight class turned out. It was nearly only going to be 2. The Turners, on Bee Sharp, already late getting the boat ready, (don’t alarm clocks work in Primrose valley), then found they were unable to back out of the cradle. After 30 plus yrs you would have thought they’d have the hang of that by now. I put it down to the Harry Hill inspired oilskins they’re now sporting. Massive collars, were talking collars that can be seen from space. It’s the extra windage and the fact that they cannot see a thing over the top of them that causing the problems, I'm convinced. The Foxterrier that wants to be a Sonata, why not buy a Sonata, I know where there’s one very close going cheap, and the racing yacht Apollo completed the line up in the lightweights. Apollo retired prior to the start, declaring mainsheet problems, (that’s the least of his worries) leaving a 2 boat race. The real Sonata won. No surprises there then.
I wasn’t in the club afterwards, but I know the atmosphere would have been gloomy. Tonight is the last ever episode of Larkrise (Google it), and Eddie, our brilliant steward is a massive fan. The occasion would be weighing heavily on him. The excitement of seeing Gabriel’s invention unveiled, and the sadness of not seeing Dorcas in her incredibly tight blouses again, would be telling. Lets hope, that there is another period drama on TV before not too long, if Eddies happy, we’re all happy.