Big Monday 29th June 2015

If you can think of a better place to sail than Parkstone, on a warm sunny evening in June, well then, in the words of Rudyard Kipling, “You are a better man than I am, Gunga Din”! And, what’s more, I am fairly confident that most of the fifty four Laser sailors who turned up for Big Monday, will agree with my assertion. In case you missed it, I did say 54 Lasers turning up for a Monday night’s racing. That’s not counting the members who helped to run the two races we enjoyed in a gentle summer’s evening of zonal zephyrs. Quite a few of us weren’t quite in the zone and suffered for it, but more of that later.

 

Joining us in our celebration were two of the club’s big hitters, the Commodore, who kindly agreed to drive the committee boat and the Hon. Sailing Secretary, who steered his Brother-in-law’s boat with a competence that belied his lack of recent experience in a Laser.

 

Acting as Gate Boat for such a large fleet, containing, as it did, a number of people who’d never before done a Gate Boat start, is a daunting prospect. By virtue of a previous 3rd place, the honour fell to Chris Guy, a man who is no stranger to Gate Boat incidents, (even when he isn’t the Gate Boat but has been mistaken for it!), but on this occasion the start passed without incident- almost. In an attempt to separate sailors on the start line, the Commanding Officer had decreed that the ‘Gate’ should be opened for 1 minute and 15 seconds, (30 seconds longer than usual). This worked for most people but still did not prevent Giles and Nathanial from ‘enjoying’ a nautical embrace before setting off up the beat in their usual whippet- like fashion.


Andrew Taylor, our Race Officer for the evening, made the very sensible decision to make the beat as long as possible, (this of course compromised the reaches because of sailing in a confined area), but even so the windward mark rounding was a lively affair for most of us. The decision of when to join the lay-line was always a tricky one; too late and you ran the risk of not getting in, or, if inside the three boat lengths’ circle, incurring the wrath of approaching starboard tack sailors, (personally, I thought the comments were a bit ‘cowboyist!); too early and you were continually being lee-bowed by boats tacking underneath you. Of course, the leaders never get the opportunity to enjoy these mental gymnastics.

 


 Some of the leading bunch enjoying a leisurely mark rounding – unknown to most of us on Monday nights!

Mentioning leaders, we should spend a moment to congratulate Nathanial Gordon for his two first places: an impressive evening’s sailing in the company of some very accomplished light air sailors. I can totally see why his father, Peter, would attempt to emulate his son’s sailing style, but the latter’s efforts to copy his son’s nautical fashion sense was perhaps a step too far. Still, a Peter Gordon topless did get some of the ladies talking, so that can’t be all bad! Ann and Roberta continued their close quarter combat, supported by Giles, Chris Guy, and in the second race, Mike Atkinson, who shamed all of us who are the wrong side of 80kgs, by bagging a very impressive second place.

 

Other notable performances came from a rejuvenated Gary Hind, at least his sail was: two sixth places will be a hard act to follow Gary, and Emma Hartley, who reportedly went for three swims during the evening, presumably to cool off after her verbal battles with her mother, at the Gybe mark!

 

I didn’t manage to catch up with Phil Merrel, in the bar afterwards, but I suspect he had a story to tell, since his evening’s results consisted of a 45th and a 13th. Sailing, like football, it would seem, is a game of two halves!  Mind you Phil, you can take comfort from the thoughts of Gunga Din’s admirer because….

 

“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two imposters just the same;

……. Yours is the Earth and everything’s that’s in it,

And – which is more- you’ll be a man, my son!”

 

On the water, there was a fantastic mix of ‘masters’, youths, Standards and Radials, and it was great to see a representation from the ‘Ladies what sail’ on Thursdays. Whilst we blokes respect your desire for gender exclusivity on that night, you are more than welcome to carry on joining us on Monday evenings.


Courtney (35) 1st out of the box! Sadly with Roberta and Giles just above you Courtney, it was only ever going to end in tears!

 

So what next for subsequent Big Mondays? Well, we had a few notable absentees because of holidays or work commitments – we couldn’t make sixty could we?

 Dog Robber.

 

The following is a table of the combined points score for the two races. Ties have been resolved by 1) best score or if still equal, 2) best score in race two.

                                                                                                     

Place

Name

Points

 

Place

Name

Points

1

Nathanial

2

28

Gary W

52

2

Roberta

6

29

Mike A

54

3

Giles

8

30

Amanda Corn

56

4

Commanding Officer

9

31

Phil M

58

5

Chris G

10

32

Trevor A

60

6

Gary H

12

33

Richard S

65

7

Iain R

16

34

Matt V

66

8

Pete T

23

35

Mark S

68

9

George K

26

36

169027

71

10

Pete N

27

37

Peter Castle

71

11

192450

28

38

Ben Lees-Smith

75

12

Richard P

28

39

Katie Stoate

79

13

Tim A

30

40

Eve  K

80

14

Peter G

30

41

Matt S

80

15

Simon B

31

42

David Pratt

80

16

Ross Neville-Jones

33

43

195734

82

17

Rob C

35

44

Mike Hennesy

86

18

Ashley H

39

45

Kiersten Metcalfe

87

19

Lydia James

42

46

John S

90

20

Bob C

42

47

Luke N

90

21

Bob A

43

48

Rosie A?

96

22

Steve Tyler

47

49

Judith

97

23

Dog Robber

49

50

Eden

97

24

Nigel P

50

51

Alison W

99

25

Courtney

50

52

Helen

100

26

169013

50

53

Colston

NSTF

27

David H

52

54

Marie-Laure

NSTF

 

 

 

Actual race results are on the web-site.

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