“Would monsieur care for another bottle of Chateau Latour?”
“Ah yes, but no more 1966. Lets splurge! Bring us some fresh wine! The freshest you’ve got – this year! No more of this old stuff. He doesn’t realize he’s dealing with sophisticated people here.”
Ancient Chinese proverb: Is it not a brave man who keeps all his chickens in his underpants? For at best will he not disapoint all the women of the village; and at worst will he not suffocate his chickens?
Late Spring 4.
Le big Coq course, sorry thats the le big KOQ course…we all need our aide memoires, non mes amies?
Kingsfleet (S), Oystercatcher (S), Quay (S) x 2 line.
A lovely force 3 (see previous post regarding wind strengths, a little bit of drizzle in the 12 knot wind) and nearly low water greeted the fleet. The fleet nearly back to full strength, fresh back from training more jedi’s Max “Yoda Master” Evans was back as was Guy Pearse. A new entry in the laser class welcome to Paddy Moriarty helping Ed swain to lower the average age of the laser fleet significantly. The swim team were reunited but a broken rig tension saw them choose the other ‘they shall not be named’ fleet.
At the gun, X flag went up (thats the individual recall flag) with two toots of the horn, a quick look along the line and it was Evans OCS (On Course Side) so back he went to restart. Scammell / Read had the champagne start, leading the fleet away to the Felixstowe shore, close behind O’Leary led Lasers from Eggett. A little late for the gun Lewis / Hawkins in their RS ‘not a Merlin’ soon had their big Pink’un up and pulling and were soon on the stern of Scammell / Read.
River racing, which happens at the Ferry when the tide is low and the Bar is closed; that’s the entrance to the river, not the club bar, crikey if that bar closed? well it doesn’t bear thinking about, the sky would fall on our heads..River racing is mostly about avoiding tide, if you get best position in the tide then that’s a good place to be.
So the fleet go hard for the Felixstowe shore, running alongside the Boatyard, Scammell / Read closest with Lewis / Hawkins right on their stern.
In sail racing there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know. Luckily for the racing sailor World sailing have written down the Knowns and also most of the Unknowns. “Where?” you ask, well in the World Sailing Racing Rules of Sailing 2017 – 2020. It contains everything a sailor might possibly need to know about sailing in close proximity to other boats. Largely these Knowns and Unknowns have been unchanged for decades, but the words have and this has made some Knowns into Unknowns for some sailors. Keep up at the back! (still with me Aunty? Debbie? Matt?) and so we as sailors Know about Port and Starboard for example, we know that at a Mark or obstruction an inside boat can call for water to pass the obstruction / mark. Great so in a river race if you can get inside the fleet then you can ask for water and push them out into more tide? Quite simply no, the RRS (Racing Rules of Sailing) state:
19 ROOM TO PASS AN OBSTRUCTION
19.1 When Rule 19 Applies
Rule 19 applies between two boats at an obstruction except
(a) when the obstruction is a mark the boats are required to leave on the same side, or
(b) when rule 18 applies between the boats and the obstruction is another boat overlapped with each of them.
However, at a continuing obstruction, rule 19 always applies and rule 18 does not.
19.2 Giving Room at an Obstruction
(a) A right-of-way boat may choose to pass an obstruction on either side.
(b) When boats are overlapped, the outside boat shall give the inside boat room between her and the obstruction, unless she has been unable to do so rom the time the overlap began.
(c) While boats are passing a continuing obstruction, if a boat that was clear astern and required to keep clear becomes overlapped between the other boat and the obstruction and, at the moment the overlap begins, there is not room for her to pass between them, she is not entitled to room under rule
19.2(b). While the boats remain overlapped, she shall keep clear and rules 10 and 11 do not apply.
Ok smart arse you say in plain English! What that means is that when there is a continuing Obstruction (such as a river bank) if you are sailing along the edge of that bank and a boat sails inside of you and there is not enough water for that boat to sail straight past you, they cannot call for water for an obstruction i.e. they will run aground.
Why is this important? well running down to Kingsfleet Scammell / Read sailing as close as they dared kept finding the Big Pink’un of lewis / Hawkins trying to get inside them, this causes Scammell / Read to protect their track on the edge but they can’t luff to protect as they too will run aground. See the rules are generally there to protect. Thus ding dong between Lewis / Hawkins and Scammell / Read carried on nearly all the way to Kingsfleet, Scammell / Read concerned that this tussle was slowing them both down and so giving the Lasers and in particular Swain a chance at snatching the series win.
Eventually luck ran out and Scammell / Read found themselves on the putty; which is a suitable phrase on this bit of the river Deben as the mud is closer to putty, it sucks the blades in and forms around them, the viscosity is fascinating. Well it is to children who enjoy sliding in it but to sailors trying to win a series it sucks (err literally?). Lewis / Hawkins sailed away as Scammell / Read fought to separate the rudder from the mud finally free a quick look back saw O’leary with a good lead from Egget in the lasers, Moriarty just in front of Swain, that wasn’t to last as young Moriarty too found out that the viscosity of Deben mud is painfully slow..
Lewis / Hawkins rounded Kingsfleet first, a short distance back Scammell / Read turned the mark and tried to hold on to the disappearing RS, O’leary led the Lasers round with a good lead, but they were now separated from the two double handers, it was looking like the two handers were gunning for the win, would Lewis / Hawkins finally lead all the wqay round to take line and Handicap honours?
The short beat from Oystercatcher to Quay saw the difference between the Rs and the Merlin, Lewis / Hawkins taking two extra tacks to get to Quay, Scammell / Read sailing the beat without tacking, a gain to the Merlin Rocket. Lewis / Hawkins stretched away downwind and on the fetch from Kingsfleet to Quay. The last beat, the wind dropping a little Lewis / Hawkins had nearly made the horizon on Scammell / Read. The wind had veered a little Scammell / Read saw the RS tack, could they make Quay in one again? it could be the difference tacking at Quay for the line?
Two more tacks from Lewis Hawkins saw them take line honours, Scammell / Read sailed the beat lifting at Quay to tack to the middle of the river and then once more for the line, second over the water. A long way back O’Leary was still controlling the Laser fleet, from Egget, but what of series 2nd place Swain? we couldn’t see, we saw Moriarty in front of him but they were all along way back. Quick maths and we thought maybe a 2nd place handicap to the RS.
Post match beer debrief: Merlin Rocket 1, RS 2…
Swim team report: there is nothing to report this this week, top job fellas 😎
If you get this far thanks. Here’s a short clip of Scammell / Read on the way to series win 😬 Late spring 4
Quotes: In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it – Napoleon Bonaparte. wise words my friends..
“Would monsieur care for another bottle of Chateau Latour?”
“Ah yes, but no more 1966. Lets splurge! Bring us some fresh wine! The freshest you’ve got – this year! No more of this old stuff. He doesn’t realize he’s dealing with sophisticated people here.” The Jerk