Well, we were greeted by complete flat calm this morning…. for all the world it looked like it would be coffee racing all morning, but no …. bit by bit the breeze set in. We were racing by eleven – and pretty good it was too!!
Mervyn arrived in great time to find that his main halyard had shot to the top of the mast – ho ho !! So they had to head for Club balcony straight away (successfully).
It was roughly 9.02am when the first complaint arrived that there was no new post on the FF Blog this morning. Well, I am sorry, but fresh materials are in short supply !!
We were remarking in the bar how amazing 2012 has been for easterly and northerly breezes. The uncommon is becoming common and today’s beat was from Honda to the pier. Very fickle it was – and really it was the key to every result. The normal rule of “go right” did not seem to apply (often!) and if you went left you got stuffed as well…. so there you have it!! Being a half term weekend, with a rubbish forecast, we had just six boats on the slip – but a turnout still only equalled by Lasers. The Club was quiet actually. Some notable absentee names – which will be forwarded to the Vice Commodore to deal with !! There was a musto skiff open meeting (about 6 boats) and they had the far end of the lake to play in. Yesterday it was gusting 38 knots, and today about 3.8knots !!
It was slightly odd course, but it worked. We had a small pin end bias, but for strategic reasons (i.e. we watched the lasers go off…!!) a number of us decided to go off the committee boat end – and it was the correct way to go. The Humes made a cracker and built a tidy little lead from Howard and Richard, followed by The Hansons and The Firths, Then the Wrights and John Watling’s fabulous woody. As you’ll notice, if you were not a father and son team today, then you were the exception!!! (Great atmosphere !!)
The Hansons were grippingly quick at times, but the race became a tad processional until the last beat. The aerators were both on and you had to navigate this feature to get uphill. Dom and non-Dom shot out to the right looking for breeze, and Howard and Richard caught an arc up to the left of the aerators…. The Humes were unlucky there and were frankly robbed !! (“Yeahhhh!!!”…) Howard and Richard pushed the foot to the floor on the next two reaches and finished half a minute ahead of the Humes, then I think The Firths rolled in.
Processional the first race might have been, but the breeze built a little for the second race – enough for rigs to be adjusted – and processional the next one was not!! In the extra breeze, this time consensus was indeed for the pin end – so much so that The Wrights and The Hansons got there a tad early and had to spin around the end and cross behind. Not that it seemed to hurt either party frankly !! Next at the pin were Howard and Richard who decided to put in an early one and cross the fleet….. and go right.
Now to be very clear, the right had simply never paid in race one – so they were defying logic really. As you do….. But what was the result ?!?! Well… actually the were last at the first mark. I think the Firth’s may have been the first round, with The Humes next. It was a bit hard to tell from that far back. So off we went down reach one, and cutting an arc on the Clubhouse side of the leg, Howard and Richard were suddenly up on the leaders and there was a whole bundle of overtaking going on. On reach two, The Hansons dived low but this didn’t work … and The Firths and The Humes went for a fabulous luffing diversion off to the left…. I think this was where basically The Humes just sailed past the Firths as if they were standing still – which they possibly were. Mike was pretty livid… and in the bar afterwards, David quite helpfully said that he could see Mark, a great helm, was hopeless on the spinnaker !!! Ha ha ha ha !!! Now it must also be said that David had decided to pack his 14 year old small sized spinnaker for the day. If you watch them, it fills like a demon !!!! Very interesting for the rest of us to think about….
Anyway, in the middle of all this, Howard and the big white kite just chugged straight down the middle. A quick bit of “up the centre” on the beat saw Howard and Richard out front by a nose. The Firths though, and these are Mike’s conditions lets face it, piled back in and came pretty close a couple of times. What do they weigh?? Less than a plate of chips. However, at the finish it was Howard and Richard again – by a longer time margin than it looked (we thought!!)….