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Home / News / Race Report Winter Series 1 & 2 7th November
Home / News / Race Report Winter Series 1 & 2 7th November

Race Report Winter Series 1 & 2 7th November

Published 12:11 on 10 Nov 2021

Race Officer: Rod Winrow. Assisted by: Nigel and Mel Jupp.

Patrol Boat: Steve Hilton/Phil Guimaerens

Some weeks, the sailing report would be glad to have such subject matter as Jonty & Sashas' sublime bubble & squeak, double poached eggs, crispy pancetta, followed by sticky toffee pudding, with a layer of pear (yes, you read that correctly, pear!) but not Sunday 7th November 2021.

The original start time of 09:00 was replaced with a much kinder midday, the logic being that the forecast North-Westerlies negated the usual problem of launching on a spring high-tide (12:32, 6.5m) and we sort-of got away with it the beach-break caused by residual swell was a bit of a surprise but despite a few slips launching, the fleet got out okay. Wave-height was pretty impressive, and the wind strength just about was enough for it not to be a problem in fact the phenomenon of surfing whilst beating was as enjoyable as it was unusual. Race Officer Rod Winrow, a key figure of the day, had decided on a committee boat start which led to two starts of either multi-individual recalls, or a general recall. There was a bit of bias and shrinkage in the line, not helped by the drifting committee boat, and the 3 or 4 would-be-OCS boats in R1 dutifully went back over the line and got what turned out to be a cracking first leg on port, much more advantageous than going t'other way. In fact I'm not sure whether it paid at all to tack on the leeward mark and go parallel with the shore, rather than directly toward the beach, despite some flukey headers, synonymous with the offshore breezes closer inshore.

During his briefing, Rod completely switched the course so the upwind mark was East of the finish line, and on the water he also dispensed with one of the promised buoys, the attractively noticeable bright 'stick' one. This is known as "keeping us on our toes". No one was caught out by this knavery, although several did suffer from what might be termed a lack of attention to detail, with a litany of capsizes, collisions, inversions, de-mastings, rope/hand tricks, that would have given a much more spiteful nasty-minded (and hypocritical) reporter a lot of fun in going through the details.

So, let's start with the single-handed D18'swell no, of course not, but for sheer incident-full fun I do commend Tom Rawlings/Chloe Millward's performance, with a capsize, a contrivance to get caught up in the mainsheet and need third-party untangling, and then a de-masting "insufficient shackle-tightening" was the Inquiry's finding on that one. Josh & Noah had the misfortune to capsize in the Topaz 14, and then invert with the supposedly water-tight mast filling up and making recovery tricky. Cue Rod, dry-suit nearly zipped up the whole way, swan-diving to Masters Rawlings/Walters' rescue, then achieving the singular honour of needing to be repatriated to the beach to dry-out. Keith Shah, in his post-match interview, lashed out viciously at any suggestion that he'd sailed a perfect course, proudly pointing to a 'coming together' with Matt Cooper, and a swim at the leeward mark it may have been a 'bad day', but he still came off the briny smiling. Mercedes/Jo-jo sailed an uncharacteristically low-profile couple of races, Darren had a dip, and Patrick/Carla, Gilbert (s/h), and Jamie/Luca all were somewhat under the radar, eclipsed by their more flashy noticeable colleagues.

And all this without having mentioned the appearance of someone called Joffan Garcka, crewed magnificently by Lu Trafford, who helped guide J. around the course to an impressive 3rd and 2nd. And the almost tedious high-levels of performance by Debs/Barry gave them 2nd/4th. Caleb/Hector on the Nacra 17, had to sail virtually twice the distance of the rest of the fleet given their high handicap, with a 4th and 3rd. But all fading to nowt in comparison with Rob/Fi, exercising their usual mastery with seemingly effortless ease, doubly-triumphant.

Heaping more newsworthy-ness on proceedings, we had Mel & Nigel Jupp in the race-box, shamefully absent this season and extremely tight-lipped about the fact that the results were posted on the board almost before the boats were off the water. We've missed them (but not in such a way that implies any detriment to those that otherwise would have done the results).

WSC's Diary Dates, a splendid publication but not necessarily unimpeachable, referred to these races as Winter Series 3&4; if 1&2 had been anything like these two races then our cups would have been truly overflowing; instead, they were a typographical omission.

And it is all going to happen again this Sunday!

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