Racing on Boxing Day has long been a Tamar Lake tradition and this Boxing Day was mild and almost sunny with gentle north-westerly winds. The charming informality of this race, as much seasonal get-together as race, was intensified when the starting horn refused to blow, a member’s car horn wouldn’t work without a key in the ignition and the start was eventually signalled by a human bellow from the shore across the water to the start line. All this controlled chaos was viewed by an amused contingent of Club members, notably Sue Murray, the Duncalfs and the Savages.
Brian Pollard set off first with Nathan Pollard crewing his yellow Bosun but it was Bob Sampson who reached Inlet first, the full-sailed Laser picking up every breath of wind. Linda Spiller, in her smaller-sailed Laser Radial, disposed of a threat from the Bosun sailed by Adam Hilton and John Dabbs, by forcing the overtaking boat to windward until it was no longer aimed at the marker buoy. She then set off across the centre of the Lake to West in pursuit of Brian Pollard but it took her a long time for her to catch him. Lap 2 – these were short laps; after West the course went to Zebra and then back towards the Dam – saw Bob Sampson increase his lead, Linda Spiller struggle to close the gap to the Bosun ahead and Adam Hilton benefit briefly from a gusty patch which gave him hope of catching up. Finally, on lap 3 Linda Spiller got past the Bosun ahead, going round Inlet in front and gradually pulling away from then on. On lap 4 the gusts were strong enough for crews to have to sit on the gunwale! The jib on Adam Hilton’s Bosun came down; the captain having apparently forgotten how a cleat works. Perhaps it was the effects of festive cheer; Brian Pollard too momentarily forgot to hold on to the tiller, without ill effect however; the handicap not only gave him back his lead over the Spiller Laser Radial but promoted him to winner!
- Brian and Nathan Pollard (Bosun )
- Bob Sampson (Laser Full)
- Linda Spiller (Laser Radial)
- Adam Hilton and John Dabbs (Bosun)
James Pollard very kindly ran the race with Robin Spiller assisting and Mandy Pollard took the photographs. Many thanks to all of them.