The Etchells, IODs, and 105s were having their Nationals, whilst we were “Last Blast”ing - and it’s been many years since we’ve seen that many boats on a Saturday. Seven 24’s turned out for the last race before our Nationals - a good opportunity to tune up.
Skippers frantically sought the changed course card - which was fortunate as Jay Hooper, Race Officer, had found every available inflatable mark and then left them strewn over the Great Sound. There were reds, greens, yellows and oranges. The other boats were finishing their second race when we arrived, and then there was a delay whilst the Race Committee did what they do best - subtly rearranged everything whilst the sailors muttered abuse. Finally we were into a sequence for course 3 - up, left, down, up, down, up, down, left, or any variation thereof.
With the breeze from the south being stable, it was a day of boat speed, and playing the small shifts. On Sadiiqi, we were running a sailing course for our 2 new crew - one of whom had never stepped on a boat before, the other was the only Kiwi never to have sailed (we suspect prison). As Kiwis are used to being abused and ostracised, he went on the bow, and did a splendid job, or for those skippers looking for crew for next season, he was hopeless so don’t bother. We spend the day in the middle of the fray, close to the boats that decided to fly jibs, even though the breeze was low-mid teens. The jib boats did ok, though it was painful to have them reach across your bow all the time - “pointing like a broken finger” as Craig says.
In the third race, Jezebel tacked just after the start line, in what appeared to be a very bold ducking move with Solaise close to weather. The resounding crash meant that it was unlikely a well laid plan was going well, and two crew swimming from Jezebel indicated that all wasn’t well on board. It was only a matter of time before Gavin’s crew started swimming for it, or so we thought. It transpired that Gavin had lost the stick rather than the plot, an autotack into Solaise and a dunking for the crew then followed. Solaise had crushed gellcoat, a small hole, or is written off depending on the point of view, Jezebel’s front bumper was bent and will need boat clinic before next week.
Results - still not made it to the RBYC website, so no idea of the order of play. New Wave, Siren and Gripper were toward the front, but no horizon jobs today.
No one hit a mark on the way back in - that’s a first for a while.