A brilliant morning greeted the Fleet today. Several regulars absent for some reason but we still mustered six boats at the slipway. I suppose that we maybe had 10mph of breeze and it crept up to 13-14mph as the race session progressed. The Big Deal in town though was that Mike and the Admiral had borrowed the drop-dead gorgeous, wood decked 3341 “Charlie Bucket” for the day. It looked just amazing….stunning even. (See the FF Blog for photos…)
Howard and Richard were still replacing boom outhauls at gone ten, and were last in but made it !!!
There was a large 29er event on at the same time today, so we were captive of the south end of the lake. It was an odd course, and for a change laid to starboard. There was a huge pin end bias which meant the last few seconds got a bit frantic. Mike and Phil, aka “The Woodentops”, in 3341 were just slightly too early at the pin and had to peel off down the line, leaving Howard/Richard, The Humes, and John/David to smack their way up the right hand side of the beat. It was a one tack beat really – almost a fetch…. At the top mark, it was Howard/Richard then The Humes, John/David and The Stensons all in pretty tight order – the Woodentops lying fifth.
It was one of those “get in front, stay in front” kind of days (Mark and Tony get them all the time….). I was about to say that we didn’t get much overtaking – a bit processional…. but not so. The Woodentops flew downwind in that old silver, and passed two boats to get into third. The boat was a bit reluctant to go uphill though, but on our olympic courses that might suit well…. It turns out that the VC is swooning about the boat understandably, and would consider selling both his other two boats in order to buy it. This is a major problem, as our fleet would lose its “largest UK fleet status” if he did so!!!!
Race two got away cleanly too. The VC, being all muscle, ripped the genoa turret clean out of the Wooden Marvel and they had to retire. Doesn’t know his own strength sometimes…. Roger and Tony went off coaching… so the four other boats took off. The course was reversed to port rounding and things did not go at all well…. The beat was still hopeless, and Howard/Richard almost used the wrong gate – and anyway crossed last in the final moments (pity – we had prepared a timed run into the other gate!). A couple of tacks and we were at the top mark – The Humes in a super first place, followed by John/David, Howard/Richard and The Stenson Family. It was good fun, but I think we just stayed like that all the way round. Leg two became almost another boring tight fetch, and we had a couple of boring runs. Not very pleased we were…. And getting around that windward mark was a tricky approach actually – it was lying pretty close to the wall and you could only really come in from the left.
It was a pretty good day though – plus McLaren’s Jenson Button came second in Singapore…. so an excellent day for the Country !