It was blowing old boots. Rigs were wound on tight as 10 Js headed out to the Sound in a breezy easterly. The course was set between Boaz Island with the windward mark off Long Island. As usual with easterlies the wind was unstable - so were many of the boats but that’s anotger story. Race 1 had a puzzled Sadiiqi wondering why she was in the 2nd row - turns out the boats around her were a little advanced from the 1st row (oops). Mayhem used her unwind speed to geed effect to stretch out an early lead. New Wave led the pack right to the flatter water, Sadiiqi and Solaise hung left. The first downwind had Erin, Solaise, Siren and Sadiiqi line abreast down the course all trying various forms of persuasion to get Erin to gybe - we were about to offer a weekend for two in Atlanta - thats’ where we were heading, when he gybed. At the end of the three long laps Mayhem took the gun with New Wave, Cyclone and Sadiiqi rounding out the top 4. Race two sequence started as the alst J crossed the line (RC in a bit of a hurry today). After two laps which included some broaches, death rolls and general high speed downwind carnage, the finish order was Mayhem, Sadiiqi, New Wave and Cyclone. It was generally felt that race three started in the middle of race two - after years of faffing around betwen races they’ve gone from the sublime….. Not sure the finishing order apart from Mayhem getting the gun. Both New Wave and Cyclone were up there again. Broach of the day went to Neil for almost getting seaweed on the windex just after finishing a race.
Archive for March, 2003
The sun was shining and the wind was coming out of the south west. We headed out to the sound with a heavy cooler and a heavier crew. There was a good contingent of J24s at the start, with New Wave, Mayhem, Sadiiqi, Cyclone, Siren, Tempest, Jezebel, Erin and Solaise out to play. Seahorse, the oldest sailboat in the IOD fleet, managed to lose mast & rigiing before the first race which raised a few eyebrows. The RC had set a relatively short course but the first race was 3 laps. There were none of those green offset marks in attendance today, much to Sadiiqi’s relief. All the boats had blades up and the first race saw the fleet split after crossing the skewed line. Sadiiqi (with guest star Jeff Roach on board as moveable ballast) went right and stuck out there longer than we did on Solaise, and roiunded the mark just behind Mayhem, who had gone left. Cyclone were flying, and New Wave seemed to struggle but were tacking with the best of them. A lot of crews were in foul weather gear despite the sun because it was so choppy and the water is still too cool at 68 degrees. The first downwind was quite rocky, and there were a few position changes on the way down. The second leg saw Sadiiqi and Mayhem again out front. The final 2 laps spread the fleet out slightly, and from the back (grr) I think Mayhem took first place, with Sadiiqi in second. At this stage we switched to a genoa, only to find the breeze build just before the start, and every other boat stick with jib. The start was close, with us about a third of a boatlength off the start line when the gun went, and every other boat in front of us - general recall. The second start was much cleaner and we were off on a 2 lapper this time. Cyclone decided to go off and race on their own, well ahead of the rest of the fleet in this race. Behind them the other notables were Mayhem, Jezebel, Erin and Sadiiqi. The genoa did not do us too much damage, and we were slogging it out with Tempest and Siren. New Wave were still performing two tacks for every one we did. At the finish Cyclone were easy winners. I think Mayhem were second and Sadiiqi third, so at this stage Mayhem were winning the day. The third race saw the sun disappear, and at the start there were boats over early. Jezebel went back after a brief hesitation, leaving the rest of the fleet to storm up the course. Mayhem and Sadiiqi were again at the front of the pack, and Cyclone were following up on their second race success with another flyer. The racing was closer this time around, with the downwinds bunching the boats together. The final downwind saw Mayhem over the line first, only for Sadiiqi behind in second to get the gun - perhaps they should have gone back eralier?. Cyclone were third over the line and grabbed second. So at the end of the day both Sadiiqi and Cyclone had a 1-2-3. It was then back to the RHADC for a welcome soup.
The forecast breeze arrived 12 hours earlier and had faded by the time the fleet set off on Saturday morning. This week, for interest, the J105 fleet came out to play. An enormous line was set presumably in the hope that statistically some of the boats would be near it at the gun. A fear of long lines swept the 24s so they decided to huddle at the committee boat, though the standard of shouting has declined without the influence of Richard “room for the line” Neame. Unfortunately the committee threw in a few more spanners, or green offset marks to be precise. The chances of seeing a green mark against a green shore when you didn’t spot the offset instruction were pretty slim – at least according to the entire Etchells fleet (less Rikki! – well done), and a late arriving Sadiiqi (sigh). Mayhem took the first race at the head of the pack of 10 Js. Race 2 everyone knew about the pesky offset (still green – maybe its an unripe yellow mark?). A delay took place whilst the bevy of marks were relocated and the green one hidden again. Soon we were all off again – this race featured several J105s misbehaving – one even gybed on top of New Wave who promptly luffed her in the direction of New York! A storming Cyclone took the 2nd race from Erin. The third race came with a now dying breeze – more of an athsmatic wheeze really. A charging Cyclone hared round the course pulling away from everyone but Mayhem – the pair finished well in the lead. Series results: Erin 1st, Mayhem 2nd and Cyclone 3rd.
Erin’s day - Saturday 15th March Saturday was cloudy and cool. Winds were from the NE approx 15 knots easing during the afternoon to 8 knots. The race committee set up an interesting course with an offset mark at the windward end of the course in dark green (hmmm, very easy to spot!). The obvious choice was to look at the committee boat where they had a big ‘O’ above the number of laps. Here is Saturdays racing from Erin’s point of view: Race 1 started with the committee boat being favored and everyone stacking up there. Mayhem kindly returned our luffing duel from last week and enjoyed a good start whilst we suffered! As soon as we could we went right to get clear air and found ourselves towards the top mark in the company of Siren, Cyclone and Jezebel. Sadiiqi & Mayhem were out in front, Mayhem did a fake dive to the inside at the top mark, Sadiiqi covered and set off downwind not rounding the dark green thing 100m to the left. Mayhem shot back up and rounded correctly. From here on they were uncatchable. It finished Mayhem, Cyclone, then Jezebel by ½ boat over Erin. Race 2 and the wind had started left and the committee boat dropped back 5 degrees making the pin favored. Sadiiqi tried a port start at the pin but were unsuccessful as we shut them out on starboard. Headding left we took the knocks ready for the long lift on port. This worked well and put us in 2nd behind a flying Cyclone who had gone right. Where were Mayhem? Why were they so far back? After a lap of the course Cyclone were still out in front, New Wave were overhauling us downwind and it looked like a 3rd until Joji gybed on top of New Wave who instinctively luffed hard. Joji rode over them and we went into 2nd, thanks guys. After a bit of math it was calculated we had won the series coz Mayhem came in 7th. Yipeee. Race 3 and we were off at the pin end again. This time we were followed by Cyclone & Mayhem who forced us out to the lay line. Next lap and Mayhem went left again with us following whilst speedy Cyclone & Siren went right. When we all met Mayhem crossed in front and we had to duck both the righties. However, we tacked on Cyclones windward hip and did not let Siren back out to the lay line. The finish was in the same order as we went round the top mark, Mayhem, Cyclone, Erin and Siren who held off a rapidly closing Sadiiqi in 5th.
Otherwise known as - Erin Go Bragh ! It was one of those days. The wind was coming out of the East, and the conditions looked like 15 knots or so. It was a bit overcast as we headed out through the harbour and the jib was rigged up as we only had 4 on board. Fortunately we had remembered a) bungees, b) ice, and c) beer. Cleopatra and the Race Committee were out early and had already set some of the marks as we reached the sound. There were a few whitecaps and it was good to see some of the other classes out to play. Ex J24-skippers Rikki Hornett and Dave Allen were out on an Etchells, and there was a strong fleet of two to sail with. There were at least 5 IODs, and as we prepared for the start there were 6 J/24s - Solaise, Sadiiqi, Siren, Mayhem, Duct Tape, Erin - with Cyclone on the horizon and arriving late. The first race was a 2 lap affair, and the upwind was a very bumpy ride. Mayhem looked good and fast, and Erin seemed to sail well. The shifts were catching a few boats out, and at the first downwind Mayhem and Erin were at the front. The next upwind saw the breeze staying steady, and Mayhem looked to increase their lead over the pack. Solaise had made ground and got ahead of Sadiiqi, and Siren were in the mix too. The final downwind saw Mayhem over the line first, with Erin second. Behind them there was a good battle between Siren, Solaise and Sadiiqi, with the boats crossing the line in that order. Cyclone, after their late start, and without regular helm Bill “Blondie” Pollett (who can forget the Christmas Party?) were languishing at the back of the pack. The wind had dropped out now and most boats switched to Genoa. The RC changed the course slightly, so the mark was down towards Long Island. Race two saw Jezebel arriving from St. Georges to take part. The start was very competitive, with what looked like Duct Tape and Mayhem over early, much to Todd’s disgust on Mayhem. The fleet went right and left. The lefties heading towards Spanish Point, the righties towards Pearl. Erin stuck right later than most and looked to have a commanding lead, but Sadiiqi, (who had stayed wide left and at one point seemed to be heading for St. Georges) came in on port layline and went round the mark in second. Behind them it was Siren, Jezebel and Mayhem, with Solaise in there too. At this stage I think Duct Tape decided to stop racing, with what only can be guessed to be equipment failure. I think it was Charles driving on Cyclone, and they were at the back. The first downwind saw Erin maintain their lead, and mayhem sneak in to third behind Sadiiqi. Jezebel looked to be doing a sail change down to Genoa on the downwind, allowing boats to sail past them. The last upwind saw Erin and Sadiiqi go left, with Erin covering, and Mayhem, Siren and the rest going right. The wind had lightened up significantly by this stage, and the last downwind was very slow as the course was so long. Erin crossed the line first, with Sadiiiqi second and Mayhem third. For the final race of the day, the RC set a one lapper as there was not much wind. The start was again quite tight, with Mayhem over early again. Cyclone had a great start and were leading the pack, followed closely by Sadiiqi and Solaise. Erin tacked early and decide to go down the middle rather than taking a wide left or wide right approach. Siren were doing something similar. As we sailed upwind Cleopatra and the RC stormed down the racecourse and parked at the mark, signalling a course change. Erin went round the mark first, with Sadiiqi, Cyclone and Jezebel all rounding shortly afterwards. As we rounded the mark on Solaise, we spotted the mark at Boaz Island and set sail, wondering why the rest of the fleet were going right. It was only when Erin rounded the newly laid (bright red) mark that we realised our error. Siren, having made the mistake of following us, were also caught at the back. We watched the rest of the race play out in very little wind, seeing Erin cross the line first. At the back, we managed to drift over the line just in front of Siren, after a very long race. The motor back to the mooring was reminiscent of an August day, with the sun shining and the harbour looking as flat as a mirror. So Erin won the day with a 2-1-1. Mayhem, considering their false starts, made up ground well, and the racing was quite close in the shifty conditions. By the time we got back to the dock (5:30pm), it was time for a swift soup at the RHADC.
Type of waterproof clothing required when the climate becomes inclement. When on a boat, it is normally located under the seat of your scooter.
The act of leaving the helm in the middle of a race and storming to the foredeck to fix a problem. Derived from Richard Neame, sometime helm on BER9.
A piece of footwear with a rubber sole designed to provide secure footing unless
1) the deck is wet,
2) the shoe is wet, or
Unofficial class trophy for the sailor with the softest hair. Neil Redburn is the current holder - probably because so many jezebelles stroke his hair - the trophy used to be held by Don “well-conditioned” Wagoner (USA4540).