Race Reports

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.

5 ‘70s, 5 lightweight, and 8 heavyweight boats prepared to race. Once again the heavyweights were trying to outdo each other with the number of crew carried. Ramsey Mac, on team Ruffian, declared 8, the usual mix of experience and novice. Kelly Hefner on little Jeannie, had shipped his usual team of octogenarians, some even discarded the tartan blankets with this first glimpse of Sunshine. And there were seven on board Windshear, including the commodore Steve Russell. (I bet you let the mainsheet go when Ed told you to).

The Turners on Bee Sharp, demonstrated once again, there inability to get up on time, and were the last boat heading for the bridge just as it closed. I wonder if they all live in the same house and rely on the one alarm clock. I’m sure Yoda Sizer would happily supply them with a fine timepiece, or maybe he already has!

Race officer today, John Ritchie, recently retired from his job as a Phil Jupitus (Google him) kissogram, and Jim Lidgley set course E to port, same as the last race. (No imagination). The light westerly winds were a bit flukey, and it felt for the entire world that the fresh North Westerly forecast was lurking just around the headland.

The 70 were first away, Stormchaser taking first over, and staying in that position until the end of the race. The only position changes over the race were Shameless and Blue Rusher. Blue Rusher were ahead, Shameless overtook, then Blue rusher got back in front, and Shameless would have overtaken again, had I not decided it would be good idea to hoist the spinnaker, on the wrong side, with none of lines set on the reach down from the red to green. The manoeuvre went wrong, spectacularly. If you’re going to do something wrong, do it right in front of the clubhouse, so that all those shoreside experts can later advise you how ‘you should have done it’. We rounded the green, with 2 big lads on the pointy bit, and it would not steer, probably because it wasn’t in the water. The wind had now gone into the North West and freshened. By the time we untangled everything, and reset, we were at the wheatcroft.

Stormchaser finished first, markedly so, followed by Humdinger, I think Wayne was missing the Wolfman today. 3 dicks and a John Denver lookalike on Sin Bin in third place, Blue Rusher in fourth, co owner Tony managing to sneak away from his day job, as Sizers minder, and the owner, Sam, still wondering how he was going to tell Jack Sparrows cat, that the sails he had taken for repair last week, were, unfortunately mistaken for old tarps, and were now covering a skip full of rubble on a wagon heading to Morley! And in fith place, sounds better than last, Fred Carno (google him) and his circus on Shameless.

In the heavyweight, Dash took first over, Skipper Martin now able to concentrate more now he’s retired. He doesn’t have the enforced 2 weeks of sobriety forced on him now. His usual crew of Judith, Arry ‘should have gone to Specsavers’ Arundale, and Alan, Supplemented by Mick ‘wanna buy a Sonata’ Cowper. There race was short lived, as they retired, in order to answer the call of a yacht in distress.

I was unable to see if and how positions changed in the heavyweight class, but Ruffian were in the lead for the whole race, I did see the new spinnaker being flown on little Jeannie. Whoever designed that colour scheme was either, a) drunk, b) on strong medication, or c) having a migraine, or as I suspect, a mix of all three.

After 2 laps and some computer wizardry, the results, were Ruffian first, Grautvonix second, the running man on the podium now his nemesis, Vado, is out of the water, having its keel honed finer than a Sultans Scimitar.

Swanshot in third place, skipper Paul managing to keep all the sails on board this time. I understand he does have quota for March, so that big purse, sorry spinnaker, may be put to better use. (That’s a fishy reference that has probably just gone straight over your heads). Revenge were fourth, little Jeannie 5th, by, did they look in need of coco when they got in, Windshear 6th and Kassy last, or seventh. Back to normal for them then. .

Missing from the heavyweights, Lee Bean and his crew, Dumber and Dumber, on ‘Whistle up a sausage sandwich’. Unfortunately Skipper Lee has been in hospital having a small amount of corrective surgery. He’s been under the thumb for so long, that he now has a large indentation, in the top of his head, which holds water. If he forgets to bail it out after his morning shower, when he goes to cut the top of his boiled egg, and tips his head forward in the process, he can end up pouring several pints of soapy water onto his soldiers!

In the lightweight class, Joker, with vice commodore Nick (vote for me) Taylor aboard, and co owner Robin Grey helming, took first over and led the fleet, some spectacular broaches in front of the clubhouse putting them in the running for this years’ how far can it tip trophy’

Bruce, looking like he’d just fled a Libyan roadblock, and his all girl crew, sorry, forgot about Michael, were the only other sportsboat in lightweight, Jack Sparrows cat and his daughter, and Steve that’s not a hairdresser, crewing Bandit, The Turners on Bee Sharp, and Tom Clarke (I still know where there’s a good Sonata if you really want one) on Tomahawk, helmed by the legend that is Brian ‘Yoda’ Sizer. Brian only just recovering from the hangover he inflicted on himself following last week’s Gentleman’s Dinner. I’ve heard the speaker at the dinner this year was exceptional, a real talent!!!!! Pity I missed it.

Although Joker led the fleet, no amount of computer skulduggery could get them a place on the podium, Bee Sharp first, Shere Kahn second, and Tomahawk third, Joker 4th, serves you right for trying to Muller me on the second lap.

It’s worth taking a look at the results on the website, some very close finishes in all the classes. Bandit retired, as the lifeboat was called out and crew Steve had to get back to answer the call. Where as Tom, Matt, Wayne didn’t?

With such big crews in the heavyweight class, the bar was busy. Steward Ed, full of cold, kept his spirits up knowing tonight he could settle down to the second episode of South Riding. A real fan of the costume/period drama, Ed, like many, was left feeling a little bit empty after the last episode of Larkrise 2 weeks ago, but South Riding proved to be a worthy successor. What on earth we’ll do with him when that finishes next week, I don’t know. There’s only so many times you can watch the Catherine Cookson repeats on the Yesterday Channel.