4 laps (you’re so hopeful!)
What has the soul funk group the Commodores got to do with Race 2 Early Spring series? read on.
The de facto first race of the season for the monohulls as race one was unsuitable for the sensible monohull fleet (to cold to windy!).
A steady 10 – 12 knots very cold SE’ly wind and an ebbing tide greeted the fleet.
With an ebbing tide the start was easier to judge with a bit of pushing and shoving in the back eddy by the club. Matt Ambrose (laser) led Simon & Henry Scammell (firefly) off the line by a whisker, with Chris Coe (RS 100) , Mike Hill (laser radial), and the new team of Roger Lewis & Jo Barnard (RS400) chasing hard.
The fleet split at the jetty with Matt leading the way on the run from Simon & Henry down the ferry shore, with Mike taking the same line/ the rest of the fleet hugged the horse sands on Bawdsey side, Chris and Roger trying to make the Asymmetric kites work. Chris took the apparent wind sailing theory and Roger & Jo the low and slow theory…
As the fleet came together Matt still led from Chris just in front of Roger & Joe. Simon & Henry sneaking in front of Mike & John Eggert (laser), the run to Perkins suited the lasers & firefly. Matt had enough gap to get clear wind, Mike and John covering Simon & Henry slowly clawed their way upt to their stern. Chris again chose to sail fast with his kite up against Roger & Jo on the ‘slow and low’.
Perkins. Matt 1st clear lead, Chris closely followed by Roger & Jo. Simon & Henry dived between the 2 lasers to follow Mike round, but a rudder issue saw John pass them. The next mark Oyster catcher not quite a one-sided beat, with most overstanding a little. One lap down.
On the 2nd lap the run to Perkins saw the same tactics – Simon & Henry trying to claw back some distance on John and Mike. Mike found out that the river mud on the Bawdsey side is like a dimwitted slug….slow! Simon & Henry cruised past with Mike wondering how bad the mud is (bad, very bad!).
As Roger & Jo came into drop at Perkins an issue with the drop saw then take the first trawl of the season allowing John in, albeit with a little push; then boats are notoriously hard to steer when the spinnaker is in the water and not in the boat, this just goes to show that the Commodores (Roger – commodore & Jo – Vice Commodore) didn’t live up to the greatest hits ‘easy’ and definitely ‘ not flying high’ a bit of ‘slippery when wet’ maybe? They were still playing with the kite when Simon & Henry rounded. Finally getting the spinnaker on board they were ‘too hot ta trot’.
No place changes at Kingsfleet, although the hardy Safety boat team were on station flying the S flag (shorten course). Good news for the smallest boy on the park who was beginning to show signs of cold, not so good news for Matt.
The shortened course to all intense purposes didn’t make much of a course change as the fleet still tacked over towards Oystercatcher to get into the maximum tide, as Matt tacked over towards the Mark Chris and John continued up the channel. At this point I wonder whether matt actually looked behind and wondered if they were retiring or he was just focused on getting the last lap done.
By the time the safety team had played nice and told Matt that he had gone wrong – he found himself in last (I think). This was good news for team Firefly Simon & Henry, who were now working hard to ensure they were close enough to John to make it interesting on handicap. Chris was away in the RS100. These three teams chose the Bawsdey side of horse sands for max tide; well Simon & Heny looked like they were but at the last moment saw John go hard aground on Horse sands and bore away to take the Felixstowe side.
John was still aground as Simon & Henry cruised past (we were cruising as we had club biscuits and drinks!) Roger & Jo had caught up and crossed just in front of Simon and Henry as the Ferry jetty loomed. Could the Firefly make the line on one tack, which would hopefully mean 2nd on the water (and probable handicap win??) the wind swung the Firefly lifted and made the jetty and swooped over the line with John, Mike, Roger & Jo seconds apart.
A special mention to the Ex-swimmer Chris Coe who took his first maiden line Honours in the new boat, well sailed Chris, good to see it upright all the way round.
Also special mention to #1 son Henry for getting ice blocks for fingers and toes – I hope the very first win is recompense – if not more club biscuits will be transferred to your account.
Usually i put a link to the results but they aren’t online (yet) so make do with a photo.
The Commodores: Easy
P.S. it looks like an error on Mike’s times – but it’s still a maiden win for Fireflies Simon & Henry