Keel Inspections at Datchet !! – Race Report 27th Movember, 2011….

Arrived at Datchet at 0900 to a playful little breeze showing at 29knots, gusting 35 on the Club Richter Scale. The BBC weather man Saturday night said 9mph – well, “HA!!” to the BBC is all I can say….  Our boat actually blew though the parking area untouched by human hand….

Gary Lane popped by to give me a pep talk about breezy days, so things were looking up!! He helped me rig the genoa –  which quite nearly killed me ….

Anyway – With Cap’n ‘Anson in attendance, we rigged…  I must have been mad – more of that later…!!  Basically the Club Fleets  were like the grave and a whole load of people voted with their duvets – however, the Fifteens managed to put a fleet of five teams together – with an average IQ of about 84 quite obviously !!

Anyway, we were the only fleet launching. By 10am it was 20 gusting 40, which sounds a lot more doable naturally – so off we went… So what did the PRO do??  Kindly he started the FFs as start number one … good so far. We have a fair amount of trouble getting launched – obvious to the Race Team, so what did they do?? Fired the guns on time…  How great is that ??  Quite who they thought they were serving is not obvious to me….

Anyway, it was fair honking as we shot through the gate.  First casualty was yours truly. About a year ago I overcame my doubts and became a great fan of drop nose pins. Well, not any more!!!  The upper genoa halyard parted at the drop nose pin. We were damned lucky not to have the whole lot over the side, lose the mast (must check for cracks) and deck gate with it. Howard was pretty snappy with the recovery – and with great help from the Rescue team (on a training day!!)  we got it all back – we think in one piece… there was one loud crack I cannot account for !!

So off the fleet went. My commentary is a bit thin for obvious reasons. H says only two boats spinnakered the reaches. Cap’n ‘Anson won them both I think. Nigel King decided the upper spinnaker was not up to power and ripped the top out trying to get going!!  Andy and James had one of those embarrassing little moments with a tangled spinnaker halyard as a 40 knotter blasted through at the wing mark…  so over it all went, James diving off the foredeck, and Andy was seen doing a keel inspection!!!  We discussed this incident at length at the AGM (free food) and you will understand how sympathetic we all were about James’ plight…..  ha ha ha ha ha ha !!!!!!!!!

First ashore were Mervyn and Midnight Rog – sheer exhaustion kicked in apparently. The races were over in a trice of course – we had half a mind to nip out for race two, but were still in the Chandlers when it kicked off. We took the damaged furler in expecting to use the vice and saw to fix things – then H gave it a wiggle and it fell apart, so life got easier for 3934 then…

The Club has not yet posted a result, so I can’t be specific. JH will probably comment if he could see through the spray…!!

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