Deben spit (port)
2 laps (seriously!? Says Henry)
Race 2 of the Early spring series
I saw two swallows last weekend and the sunshine certainly made it feel like finally the sailing season was properly upon us; but Boreas (look it up, i had to!) had other ideas and gave us a strong NE’ly breeze of 15-20knots to remind us that spring is still a tease.
The tide was just past low water so a fast building flood tide rushing the fleet upriver to Perkins and making the time on distance to the gun very tricky
In the pre-start / warm up the puffs were certainly keeping the teams on their toes. The Commodores were still having a bout of ‘slippery when wet’ as Roger flipped himself out of the boat. I wonder if Jo is beginning to wonder what she has got herself into 😁.
Team Jones Tilly & Chris were getting to grips with their new (to them) RS200, Chris taking the helm for this outing.
Tim O’Leary had a great start, unfortunately he was too early and had to return. This meant Matt Ambrose again led the fleet away, followed by Team Scammell (Henry & Simon) on the club side with Mike Hill with them. In not sure what team Commodore Rog and Jo did) was that the swimming bit?) But they ended up being chase boat (greyhound?). John Daniels had seen the sunshine and decided it was warm enough to launch and he led the Bawdsey side of the fleet.
Matt sailed down the Felixstowe side of horse sands whilst everyone else tightened up to make the Bawdsey side. The lasers and RS’s took off and the firefly? wait for it, wait for it… Eventually the firefly took off. Henry calling speed numbers off the GPS 8 knots! 9 knots! A lull, a puff, 10 knots! dad. It’s hard work reaching in most boats, constant trimming (no cleats!), hiking to keep the boat flat. 11 knots!! Henry has the biggest grin on his face, quickly wiped off by the cold water spray (yes we really were going that fast!)
Anyway, finally at Perkins Matt rounded first followed by John Daniels, then Roger & jo, Chris & Tilly. Mike had an issue rounding which allowed Simon & Henry to overtake. Places stayed the same until the fleet rounded Oystercatcher.
Matt and John seemed to be switching places although from the distance I was at it was hard to tell – it looked like John had snuck in front on the lead back against the tide to Horse sands, Roger & Jo in pursuit. Chris & Tilly decided to show the rest of the fleet what Ferry Sailors are made of and hoisted the kite, only to find themselves pointing at Horse sands so a short ‘flight’ for them. All of the front runners sailed Horse sands on the same Bawdsey channel side (aha! a mistuke shurely Moneypenny?), Simon & Henry took their chance and sailed for the Felixstowe shore, Mike following.
This was a great decision as the fleet sailed upto Bawdsey the wind shadow started slowing the leaders to snails pace, Simon & Henry with Mike close by stormed up the Felixstowe shore – lots more wind and much less tide. This saw them overtake Chris & Tilly just before the end of the sands, keeping tight to the jetty Simon & Henry kept Mike outside (in more tide) and sneaked up the shore in front of the club.
Matt & John were doing a similar dance further up the leg, hug the shore, nip out to get past the groynes, back to the shoreline. It Looked like Matt had snuck back into the lead.
The tide was ripping in front of the clubhouse now, i great opportunity to sit in the clubhouse with a drink and watch the tide play games with small boats. Roger & Jo found themselves in purgatory with little wind in the main channel. Simon & Henry snuck past tight to the shore, so did Mike. In Out shake it all about, Simon & Henry held off Mike (and Roger & Jo) until the windshadow of Bawdsey faded and they could make use of the extra sail area. Roger & Jo screamed off after the lead Lasers, Mike too. Chris & Tilly determined to have fun hoisted again and flew up to Deben Spit
Rounding Deben Spit the order was: matt, John, Roger & Jo, Mike, Simon & Henry. Hang on, Simon & Henry didn’t actually manage to round Deben Spit at the first attempt, deciding that the new red can was a litlle lonely, so they gave it a nice big long (very long) hug. There’s an awful lot of tide there and a slow boat spends an awful long time in the tide! Eventually round Simon & Henry decided that they would retire rather than sail on (it’s still bitter out there y’know). Mike rounded and had another issue (back fell off??)
As they fought their way upwind Team Scammell saw that Matt was not continuing, neither was John…was this another shortened course? Sure was Roger & Jo crossed and slowed.
“Ok Henry we need to do our penalty turns for hugging Deben Spit that’s a 360, we’ll do them once we are in the lee of Bawdsey”.
“Why Dad” came the reply.
“Well we made a mistake, you can’t hit the marks. if you do or if you hit another boat then we take a penalty. For hitting the buoy its a 360, one tack, one gybe.”
And so as Team Scammell got into the lee, watching John’s rather lovely dismount off the back of his laser (i think that counts as a swim?) , they did their penatly turn, not the quickest penalty turn ever done by a firefly (far from it!). Exonerated the team crossed the line, another crackerjack race, 11 knots in a Firefly, big grins all round, cold toes and cold fingers, Chris & Tilly finished with big ‘we flew our kite in 20 knots’ grins.
Handicap & line honours to Matt Ambrose, 2nd john Daniels, 3rd Simon & Henry Scammell (stop hugging marks of the course!).
Now for a day trip to Westminster for ‘man sits on chair’ event. The Coronation cup is on Sunday, kick off 1200hrs (think that is start time so be early!), the Bar is open – it’s a great place to watch the tide spoil or boost sailors races! Anyone know a good caterer?? Please get in touch with FFSC (email@example.com)