It should have been a nice day; it had all the makings of being so. A lovely sailing breeze, sea flatter than the top of Lee (Scaife) Beans head, daffodils threatening to burst out any second, and an occasional glimpse of sunshine.
Unfortunately I had the mother and father of all hangovers. I can drink copious quantities of my alcoholic beverage of choice, with no side effects, (well my legs might get wobbly now and then). My body treats every mouthful of ale like it’s greeting an old friend, “Come in, have chair, get warm, are there any more of you outside?, bring them in”. Unfortunately, on Saturday night I indulged in rather more than is good for me, glasses of rum punch, provided by our retiring commodore and his good lady, at the SYC beach party. It was good, too good, but now I was suffering. I felt like Bruce looks. I was advised by paramedic Craig, Skipper of the most expensive maxi money can buy, that it wasn’t the rum causing my predicament, but sleep. You never have a hangover, until you go to sleep, and then wake up. He has a point.
On with the race. 19 skippers and crews eagerly made ready to race. I on the other hand, didn’t even have the interest, or the physical ability to put my seaboots on. Many boats were oversubscribed with crew, the warm weather bringing the fair weather sailors out of hibernation.
Race officers today, Pip Rowntree, who can number among her relatives, someone who invented the Kit Kat, and another who polished Smarties (I may have mentioned that before), ably assisted by Win Russell, the finest rum punch maker this side of Scalby road, and hindered by ‘Big’ Mick Cowper, Sonata skipper, 707 crew, racing pundit and excellent drinking companion, set course E to port. Green, wheatcroft, easterly, red, no 2, and repeat. Or so I thought.
70 were first to start, Blue Rusher taking first over. Unfortunately the mustard clad team on Sin Bin must have been using one of Brian Sizers bargain watches, as they were over early, well over, well early. Once around the green, Stormchaser and Humdinger were quick to take the lead on the remaining 4 boats. Shameless and Blue Rusher had a close race, with positions between the 2 changing several times. Sin bin tried hard, and failed to get back up front, and Grand Day had just that, obviously missing Mr. Branhams input, eh Jack?
We gybed around the Wheatcroft and headed for the easterly. Course E right, wrong, unbeknown to me, the course had been changed to M. I realized that when I saw where the 2 lead boats were heading. There had been an announcement on the VHF, but we busy discussing what the menu was going to be at Adam’s (our crew) up and coming wedding breakfast. (Seafood platter if you’re interested).
The strong tide pushed us south so as closed the red flag, boats had to free off, Sin Bin hoisted the kite, which prompted Shameless to do the same, just as Pete Ramsey Mac came through the 70 fleet like Conan the Destroyer. It was a good call, to hoist the kite, not charge through the fleet like Conan the Destroyer, we kept ahead of Sin Bin, and another good call was mine to drop the kite. Sin Bin held on, and were caught by a gust, which flattened them. Another contender for the ‘how far can you tip’trophy.
Another lap, and thankfully it was all over. Stormchaser just beating Humdinger. Stormchaser crew, ending an already successful week, there newly established ‘New Seekers’ (Google em) tribute band having just signed for a summer season at the Blue Dolphin holiday camp. Blue Rusher in 3rd, Shameless 4th, Sin Bin 5th and Grand Day Out 6th, or last as I prefer to call it.
Among the heavyweights, regulars Ruffian, crewed by among others, stalwart Fred, with the dent in his head, the fabulous Baker twins, and a Daniel O’ Donnell (Google him) lookalike, that tried to heckle me at the gents dinner!
The ‘running man’ Steve on Grautvonix, (if you loose any more weight you’ll have to be swathed in bandages so we can see you. (serious bit, please sponsor Steve in his forthcoming London marathon event, if you all do it will draw attention away from the fact I haven’t…………………….yet). John Livesey, on Whistler, crewed, or as we all know, Skippered by his wife, Sarah and ably crewed by his daughter, Hannah.
New to the racing scene at SYC, Alan Partridge, on Windshear. (I stand corrected, its Ed Peacock, easy mistake). Crewed by Steve Russell, on mainsheet, (no good putting him there, he wont do anything with it). Swanshot, with no quota they had to keep their spinnaker out of the sea this week. Little Jeannie, Skipper Kelly Hefner having just taken delivery of a fresh batch of fire damaged tartan knee rugs to keep his crew warm. The slow boat to china, that is Kassy, Dash, and last and certainly least, Lee Bean on ‘Whistle up a spam fritter’. Lee’s tactic this week? To ship more waifs and strays than would attend a Salvation Army soup kitchen.
Only 4 lightweights, The Turner Dynasty on Bee Sharp, demonstrating once again that they cannot get off their cradle without a drama, Tommy Clark on Tomahawk, (sell it and buy a proper Sonata, I still know where theirs a good one for sale) Shere Kahn, and Joker.
So what happened in the race? I have no idea. We were that far in front, I can only guess what happened behind.. Whistler took first over in the heavyweights, and finished a credible 4th. Grautvonix 3rd, Windshear, 2nd, probably due to the contribution of the nervous twins, Matt and Johnny from Isabella, and Ruffian, adding another 1st to their impressive list of straight wins for all the races of the series so far…
There were some close results, 13 seconds between little Jeannie and Kassy. Rory, get a grip; you should have been an hour in front! Not all the results were close, newly retired Martin on Dash, beating Lee on Whistle through a letterbox by 8 minutes. That’s not good Lee. Why don’t you sell it and buy a motor home?
In the lightweight, Bee Sharp took first over and won the race, ahead of Tomahawk, and Shere Kahn, who beat Joker by 15 secs.
Into the club, and with no period dramas in the TV listings tonight, Steward Eddie was in no rush to leave, a good job really as there was a good crowd of thirsty sailors in the bar. Much talk was made of last night’s excellent beach party, in particular, the Commodore, (retiring) walking around astride a donkey called Stella, honest, it really was called Stella, and Tony Owen dressed in a frock, like a poor mans Danny la Rue, and a variety of grass skirted and beach attire clad individuals, too numerous to mention, who helped make the night a great success. The photos should be posted very soon.
My head still hurts.