A BLUSTERY day met the intrepid frostbite sailors for the 10th race in the 2012/13 series.
The wind speeds ranged from next to nothing up to 15+ knots, with changes in direction and rain squalls to contend with as well.
Heading home to watch the rugby was briefly discussed before the decision to race was taken.
Four teams of sailors ventured out into the upper harbour with a short course set by race officer Andy Martland.
Three Enterprises and one laser zigzagged around prior to the start, with a few calls for “starboard” (give way) heard among the sound of flapping sails.
Graham Collinson and his son Niall had a few issues with their rudder before the start, which made for spectacular viewing from the slipway as they zipped round and around.
Finally, they decided the problem couldn’t be resolved on the water and retired with the help of the safety boat, ably crewed on this occasion by Andrew Hargreaves and Julie Harrison.
Due to the conditions, the three remaining boats were unable to attack the start, which resulted in all three arriving late at the line when the gun went.
Graham Johnson and Toni Winkcup were first away, but fell into a hole in the wind, leaving the door open for William Uppington and Johnny Bell to zip past and into the lead at the first upwind mark.
Andy Monahan, sailing his Laser for the first time in four races, joined Graham and Toni for the downwind run to the second mark.
As the boats worked their way back up river, Andy passed William and Johnny to take the lead with Graham and Toni hot on their heels.
A slow and frustrating downwind leg on the next lap resulted in no change to the pecking order until a ‘senior moment’ from Andy Monaghan saw him forget the third mark, resulting in him surrendering his lead to William and Johnny – unfortunately for them, Graham and Toni couldn’t capitalise on the error, leaving them chasing from the back.
After just 30 mins of racing with the conditions worsening a call was made to the competitors that the race would be cut short after just 3 laps. There were no complaints from any of the participants!
Result: 1 William Uppington and Johnny Bell (Enterprise – Brocante), 2 Andy Monahan (Laser), 3 Graham Johnson and Toni Winkcup (Enterprise – “Sundowner”), 4 Graham and Niall Collinson RTD (Enterprise)
The next race is on Sunday 24 February where hopefully the weather gods will be slightly kinder to the sailors.
For more details or to register your interest, email firstname.lastname@example.org.