Weekly Race Report - Sunday 17th October 2021
Published 13:24 on 21 Oct 2021
Two races in high seas and moderately brisk wind rewarded those boats able to get off the beach without being mashed to a grisly pulp. A trifle exaggerated, perhaps, but it was deucedly awks getting the timing right as to when to launch, all set up with traveller centred, dagger board and rudders down as far as shallows would allow, sails sheeted in to cope with the annoyingly light on-shore breeze, especially given that it was a solid f4 with f5 gusts out to sea. The judges gave stylistic points to various attempts, with Marcus Kimmings (Laser) and Matt Cooper (D18 singlehanded) getting solid high marks for insouciance, whilst Tom/Ollie Rawlings (D18) and Andy Ruffer (Laser) contrived vertical cavorting attitudes by slightly misreading the wave sequence, and were marked down severely.
It was indeed tricky, and the usual method of waiting for the tide to drop a little really didn't pay off at all; much better to get out there before the angle of wave-to -shingle lessened the chances of a clear departure. Race Officer Paul Craft gave us a postponement, but it would have required an unfeasibly long one to make launching easy and in recognition of this harsh reality he started the sequence. And what a shame that it proved unworkable for some of the smaller boats, given a really good turn out of monos, having obeyed the Mike Coady call to arms, to display those skills imparted by MC and many other dedicated trainers. So of the 23 lined up on the shore only 9 were able to feature in the racing, and only Caleb in a Topaz 14 got a result in the Other Cats category.
In the D18's, Roger and Charlie did a great 'incautious bearing away' capsize, which put the kybosh on their racing, and Martin and Mercedes joined them in the drink with some story of a trapped mainsheet, but continued racing afterwards. Of the three single-handed boats, it was only Matt Cooper being about 4 miles south-east at the start of R1, that meant he finished behind Knox and Palmer, thriving as he did in the challenging conditions. As it was in R2, he managed to get ahead of The Rawlings to get a decent third place. Rob/Fi, with their usual imperturbable mastery of waves and wind, commanding the elements at their will, seemingly strolled around the course, with only one default, where Rob may have sheeted out a little too early for the trapezing Fi's comfort, letting out an almost inhuman yelp of anguish as she was dowsed in the briny. Barry Peters, for once helming, and ably assisted by Chloe was second in both races.
It should be said that John Cooper and Klara (D16) were defeated by equipment failure, rather than conditions, as they had steering issues. And I'm pretty sure that others were exercising prudence rather than any other emotion in staying on the beach, And so we can look forward to this Sunday's racing with an equally good turn-out as the tides should be kinder for launching...and although the forecast at the moment is for a dead southerly (again), with a bit of luck we'll get out and finished before the beach break becomes bothersome.
Ed's note - The truth is rarely pure and never simple - Oscar Wilde