Warming Pan Race 5 & St Patrick's Pot Sunday 20th March - Patrick Palmer
Published 16:56 on 24 Mar 2022
Race Officer: Dave Goodwin. Assisted by: Andy Wooldridge/Daniela Becucci/Riccardo Bonomi.
Safety boat: Bob Hewitt/Jo Nicholls
Wind: S/E F2-3. Intermittent and insufficient sun
After a Saturday training session where it's fair to say that the second-hand tractor market was the winner, Sunday dawned with more than the usual amount of thrill and excitement would the race happen? How will the safety boat make its way from garage to sea? And how come we have yet more challenging launching conditions, this time catching out young sailing expert Caleb who managed to bend some of the Nacra17 extremities, under the steely gaze of owner Chris Burke who quite literally exploded with fury and spite striking fear in the ginger-haired maestro's heart. Thankfully Chris was able to reassemble himself especially as one of the more expensive bits that broke away (of the boat, not him) was found by Gilbert Knox.
It's thanks to the sturdy, all terrain, chunky Rawlings (and their Land Rovers) that the buoys for Dave Goodwin's simple upwind/downwind course were able to be laid, with Bob/Jo having a fairly easy ride of it apart from the exciting launch and landing as dictated by the conditions. By means of mechanical degradation (Caleb, Nacra), and a slight ebbing of enthusiasm (Mel, D18), a slightly smaller fleet than was promised on land made it out to sea. If we exclude the Rob/Fi phenomena (two wins at a canter by enormous distances how do they do it aren't they amazing bloody hell etc etc) then r1 did see a good bit of competition between the lesser mortals in the d18s and Paul Craft in his D15 (way ahead on handicap (and pretty much in the fleet itself too)), which ended up with Palmer/O'Haire pipping the others to second by means of finally twigging to gybing immediately at the windward mark. 2022 debutants Andy Ruffer and Chris Halfknight in Lasers, joined old sea-salts Noah/Josh and Hannah/Lucy in the Fevas to make up the mono-fleet, which finished in that order the latter encumbered by no spinnaker.
The second race suffered from a wind-shift around to the South which meant that we had none of that tiresome tacking, merely a gybe at each end of the course. Of course Dave didn't want to interrupt Bob and Jo rehearsing bingo-calls to consider moving the windward mark to give us a decent beat, so a somewhat processional trophy race ensued. The wind picked up nicely for the D18s to avoid any bothersome competition from the monos (half of whom retired anyway) and also kept Mr Craft in an unaccustomed position down the fleet. Elation and despair were experienced by Keith who had the start of the century (how could he not have been over the line was the uncharitable thought), arriving at the first mark just a little too downwind to avoid having to do a tack, probably the only one of the entire fleet for the whole race, and not one that he'll tell his grandchildren about, erasing all advantage. We then processed along the way and the top two d18s from the series race repeated in the same order for the trophy, with Gilbert getting third.
A constant theme of these reports could be how we should always be aware of our volunteers, but do spare a thought for those who work on our behalf at WSC, though they may baulk at gratitude, shy away from thanks, whinny with alarm at any expression of their wonderful-ness, nevertheless let it be known that we really do appreciate their efforts but of course to name some and omit others which isn't really fair however it is a bit of a challenging time for Sarah having to collect subs, or Niall and others having to deal with transport issues, and several already mentioned who have ensured, and let's hope will continue to allow racing/training to go ahead.
But that's way too positive and touchy-feely, let's remember where we live and how it's traditional to feel uncomfortable expressing emotion so instead let's end on the more usual exhortation for a few more of us to actually go sailing the current ratio of boats on the water to boats in the compound is so imbalanced in favour of the latter that statistically there's absolutely nothing funny to say about it. So see you on Sunday; forecast is 13 degrees, Easterly 15kts.11:00 start