Did you know that Australia has 66 different venomous species, that’s fewer than Brazil (79) or Mexico (80!). However like the Aussie cricket team they pack a punch, proudly packing more deadly venom than any other nation, one thing Australia doesn’t have are Tigers, the planets biggest cat. Panthera tigris can weigh up to 363kg (that’s about the same as ten ten year olds!) and measure up to 3.3m! A tiger’s roar can be heard as far as three kilometres away. It is said that a swipe from a tiger will break your neck; really? I mean, c’mon the n the Tiger is huge, their paw is the size of a human head of course if they catch you they are going to do some damage!
Phew! thank goodness for Felixstowe Ferry Early Summer series race 3. No Tigers here! (unless you are a fan of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band?)
With the last of the ebb and a good 15knot NE’er (yes the bloody north wind, can someone phone up Njǫrd and tell him we want some Southerlies!) Team Firefly (Simon & Henry) felt resonably comfortable after two good outings, Roger & Jo were also getting to grips with the RS400 and Chris Jones in the Hungry Tiger Statik Jakl two outings had managed to stay dry once (a PB i think?); see what happened there? I bet to begin with you were thinking dangerous animals? Australia? Cricket? what the bleeding Nora is going on here, i am trying to find out what happened in Race 3 of the Early summer series. Well my friend, the problem we have here is that some men you just can’t reach (Good grief – now it’s cool hand luke references!) and sometimes the race is soooo bland that for filler we look to other things and it just so happens that the ridiculous Low rider that Chris sails is a Hungry Tiger called Statik Jackl and just like Panthera tigris Statik Jakl is a very good swimmer (well chris has to be!), at full speed is a very scary sight, Panthera tigris can reach 35knots on land and if Chris really straps himself in he might be good for 20knots! and they only need one meal a week ( i suggest you get your booked with the caterers – it’s good!).
At the start the winner (again) of the Champagne start was Simon & Henry in the firefly who lead the fleet past the ferry jetty, it was at this point that the course eased to a fetch and Roger & Jo got going and overtook the firefly. Chris meanwhile was coaxing the Hungry Tiger past the club and just like Panthera tigrishe started to track down the other competitors he flew (well very nearly) past the firefly of Henry & Simon and roared off after the RS of Roger & Jo. At this point roughly 300m after the start Simon realised that he needed to talk to Henry about how sometimes handicap racing it just isn’t going to be your night. By the time Roger & Jo had rounded Oystercatcher they were over 3 minutes in front of the firefly the distance to teh first mark is approx 900m! Chris was hunting them down fast and the next leg Roger & Jo couldn’t get the kite up and this allowed Chris to take the lead.
By the time Simon & Henry had rounded Oyster catcher the leaders were well on their way to Kingsfleet another close fetch. “Chris has capsized!” a shout from Henry, maybe, just maybe…”nope, he’s up and going again. Not even Roger and Jo could take advantage. As we (Simon & Henry) rounded Perkins it looked like we were going to get lapped, all this reaching against boats that are more powerful and no waves, it was getting lonely at the back as Chris and then Roger & Jo made for the finish line over two legs ahead in a 25minute race, with only two tacks and two gybes.
This is not the race officers fault, handicap racing on a river at low water is always going to favour one set of sailors (ok the lasers are a bit bandit), but the point is we had the river to ourselves and the Herons, oystercatchers, redshanks, swallows and swifts. One swallow doesn’t make a summer and one race doesn’t make a series.
Well done Chris for taming the tiger, line and handicap honours (including a River Deben refresh).
As the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band would say :Hunting Tigers… “I say, Joe (?), it’s jolly frightening out there.” “Nonsense, dear boy, you should be like me.” “But look at you! You’re shaking all over!” “Shaking? You silly goose, I’m just doing the watusi, that’s all.”