Commodore's Claptrap

Wednesday Evening Pursuits (R4) 25-5-2011 and (R5) 1-6-2011

I can't really comment on the first of these two dates, not having been present. However there was a healthy turnout of eight boats, and Dave Metcalfe won the race, in preparation for his entry to the Coniston Ragatta the following weekend.

June 1st's race was held in a lovely F2-3 which mostly held up, though went a bit quiet in the middle of the race, returning a bit stronger again towards the end. A classic evening sail, which attracted a turnout of 12 boats, which would have been 13 if John Rayner and Graham had not had spinnaker halyard problems with their Osprey. It was great to see Len and Diand Fisher down with their newly-blue-painted Firefly, which courtesy of a borrowed tiller they sailed for their first outing this year.

As far as the racing went,  Paul Ellwood in his Firefly set off in fine style and was first to the windward mark. This glorious position was not to persist for long, before Tony Ridley, followed by Dave Metcalfe overtook him. The two Albacores, closely followed by Pip in his Blaze set off 5 minutes after this group, so we at the back were praying the wind would hold up, in fact Chris Bell was praying it would blow up, which would render (single-handed) me overpowered - all's fair in love and sailing!.

Tony Ridley, having overhauled Paul held the lead till the last beat, on which he was overtaken by Dave

Wednesday 8-6-2011

Another lovely evening for a sail - the vicious hailstorm that hit Hornsea at around 4.30pm had given way to a F4 Westerly by the time I got to the Mere, with sunny conditions and high cloud prevailed for much of the race. Good to see an Ent on the water earlier - Jerry sailing with his daughter – managing  tidily in what was quite a decent breeze - he told me after that it was his daughter (crewing) telling him what to do! - he also gave me his telephone number as he is happy/keen to crew now work commitments make that possible - so a crew for Wednesday evenings looks to be available! If anyone would like to take him up on the offer, contact me.

The race got underway in good shape, with Tony Ridley taking an early lead which he'd hold on to for the first couple of rounds. Tony, Paul E and I had set a course, on the assumption of a true westerly. It should have been a beat down to #5 followed by reach to #4, then #8 followed by #1, #9, #0 for the first long lap. However by the time we started, the beat had become very one-sided, and by later rounds was pretty much a close fetch only.  

A brace of Ospreys was to be seen tonight with champion jockey Andy Gilding putting in his second guest appearance (he sailed with Steve Sharp on Sunday) - back briefly from Spain, but due to move to Brunei in the autumn!

Dave Metcalfe did not let Tony dominate the race, and these two battled for first place with the lead changing at least 3 times. In the pack, Hannah and Jeremy had some tussles, and neither of the two Ospreys really could make much impression. However single-handed in the Albacore proved to be a good set-up after a dreadful start when I was stationary (if not actually moving backwards!) at the allotted start time. Not only was weed a problem which affected everyone this evening - my centreboard was bouncing along the bottom around #8 in a place I've never had trouble with before! - sign of the low water level, Severn-Trent having just imposed a hosepipe ban I guess it's only to be expected.

A good turn out of 9 boats this evening!