by Roger Heasman
Teatime Tankard 3
With a grey afternoon where we had been promised rain strong wind and gusts, seven intrepid racers took to the water all sporting a variety of sail sizes to address the wind.
As it happened the wind never did gather the ferocity expected, however there were some nasty backing gusts which kept the sailors on their toes interspaced with moments of almost becalming!
The race started with Sue Murray in her Laser, sporting the smallest 4.7 sail rig getting away well and never being headed and gradually pulling away from the rest of the fleet. Dave Longfellow also got off to a good start also using the smaller cut of sail on his Solo.
This left four Bosuns with Colin and Louise Witchell in their Bosun opting for the smaller sail rig and newcomer Wendy Thurlow racing one of the clubs toppers with a reefed sail.
Roger Heasman with Wendy’s husband Rick as crew started closer to the shore than the other two fully rigged Bosuns and it looked a good move as all the boats headed for the White West buoy. However Adam Hilton in his Bosun with crew Penny Abbott made an earlier tack for the buoy and managed to steam past Roger to become lead Bosun, with John Dabbs and guest crew Nigel’s Bosun not far behind. Unfortunately for Colin and Louise the smaller sails on their Bosun didn’t do justice to their sailing skill and gradually they fell back in the fleet.
Wendy in the meantime was getting used to a dinghy that she had not sailed before and a couple of times got marooned when the wind backed and left her without any water speed!
The tussle between the three fully rigged Bosuns continued throughout the race, but Roger blotted his copybook by twice hitting Dam Green Buoy and having to do 360 degree penalty turns.
After completing four laps the on the water (as a Novice helm Wendy completed 3) the corrected result, was
- Sue Murray (Laser 4.7)
- Adam Hilton & Penny Abbott (Bosun)
- Roger Heaseman & Rick Thurlow
- John Dabbs and Nigel Springett
- Dave Longfellow (Solo reefed)
- Colin and Louise Witchell (Bosun reefed)
- Wendy Thurlow (Topper reefed)
Teatime Plate 6
Unfortunately the second race of the afternoon reduced down to 4 boats, as the rest of the fleet had become too fatigued by battling to really inconsistent wind gusts and Sue Murray’s lack of race fitness!
The intrepid four remaining boats of John Dabbs and crew Nigel Springett, Dave Longfellow, Wendy Thurlow and Roger Heasman with crew Rick took to the start line with reduced wind strength. Wendy, having been frustrated by the Toppers lack of handling with the reefed rig chose to go for the full rig whilst Dave stayed with the lesser rig on the Solo. The race started with the Dabbs Bosun getting away 1st followed by the Heasman Bosun with Dave in close contention and Wendy following in Dave’s wake.
As the race progressed both Dave and Wendy fell back from the two Bosuns with the Dabbs Bosun maintaining its lead and the Heasman Bosun trying desperately to catch up with it.
The race was shortened to three laps due to the loss of wind and incoming light rain with a minor disagreement between the two lead Bosuns skippers, as to what the final result would have been, had a 4th lap taken place!
All in all it was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoons racing for the participants.
- John Dabbs & Nigel Springett (Bosun)
- Roger Heasman & Rick Thurlow (Bosun)
- Dave Longfellow (Solo reefed)
- Wendy Thurlow (Topper)
Many thanks to Penny as Officer of the Day and for doing a Le Mans type racing sprint start to Bosun, after pressing the 5 minute horn for the start of the first race!