OK, so we didn’t quite match the 48 boats of Big Monday, but a turnout of 25, when, at 6 o’clock it was gusting 20 Kts. is pretty good I think. Team Annels set us a great course in trying circumstances. We had wind a plenty but it was shiftier than a second hand car salesman! (I know salesperson is more politically correct bit it doesn’t work in that sentence).
It was a night of contrasting fortunes for several of our sailors, and thanks to the sterling work of the race team (I suspect mostly Helen!), I have been provided with lap rounding data with which I shall proceed to regale you.
Race 1 began in rather unconventional manner with gate boat helm Bob Cudmore having to take evasive action on several occasions. I was one of the culprits involved but since I was looking for Chris Walley’s boat that I had been told by my wife was the gate boat, I am prepared to forgive myself, although I still went back and did a turn, in the company of David Hartgill and Becky Walters.
I didn’t see any others though and I’m sure there were more offenders than us! So although I felt morally courageous I still had to undergo the indignity of accepting Roberta’s congratulations on my interesting start. I wasn’t quite last away though. That honour goes to Courtenay. At least he had the excuse of urgent boat repairs to fall back on, although I was minded to raise the topic of the necessity of regular boat maintenance, but I didn’t want to tempt fate! The purpose of this rather long winded preamble is to help to explain why Courtenay is top of the inconsistency table for the night with results of 24th and 2nd for the evening! However, a number of other sailors have a similar sob story for their ‘achievements’ in race one. At the end of the first lap,
James Hartley was one place ahead of his mother, (13 th and 14 th respectively). It may have been as a result of fear of domestic reprisals (I couldn’t possibly comment) but James ended up several places, behind his mother, closely followed, on the podium of sailors losing the most places, by Ashley Harris and my old sparring partner, Gary Wakefield who both lost seven: not the podium anyone wants to stand on I guess. Bob Cudmore managed to turn his 11th place after the first lap into a 4th, placing him on the top step of the place gainers podium alongside Matt Eels. I’ve already mentioned Bob’s drama but I’m not sure what Matt’s tribulations were. Ann and Roberta were also on the. podium with gains of 5 places but I don’t imagine either of them will be counting their 9th and 10th place finishes by the end of the series. However, as Jon Gorringe remarked, the competition seemsnto be getting hotter. Ann commented to me and Becky that she’d found things a bit hectic in the middle of the fleet. As regular members of that position (if not on tonight’s showing), we passed a look to each other which failed to contain any sign of sympathy. One or other of us was heard to mutter, “Welcome to our world!”
It may have been the shifty conditions or the heat of competition but Race 2 saw a number of capsizes and place changes that were equally as startling as its predecessor. The podiums for places gained and lost did contain some familiar names though! Matt Eels went from ‘hero to zero’ losing 15 places in the race. Roundings of 9th , 15th , 11th and finally 24th make me wish I’d caught up with him in the bar afterwards – I’m sure he’ll have a story to tell.
Gary and Ashley made up the numbers with losses of 11 and 7 places respectively. I think in Gary’s case this was a result of doing the honourable thing: completing a penalty turn after hitting a mark. Doing this twice though is being a bit overly chivalrous don’t you think Gary? Andy Taylor made fantastic progress after doing a turn near the start of the race with lap places of 18th , 10th , 6th and 4th – a gain of 14 places, thus showing he’s a much better finisher than his rugby playing compatriots! You won’t be surprised to hear that Ann made the place gainers podium (again!) but she certainly was when she nearly fell out of the boat, clinging on by one toe-nail for several, slow motion seconds. I didn’t actually see this event, (being in front of her for once), but I was within earshot, and noises that reminded me of the restaurant scene in “When Harry met Sally” led me to believe that there was no need for me to go back and rescue her as I was invited so to do by Chris Guy! This didn’t stop her from making a gain of 9 places and, of course, beating me in the process. Jim Pilling took up the last place in this piece of statistical chicanery with a gain of 6 places.
The official table of results for the evening is on the web-site but another, unofficial version is here:
Taking both races into account, the top three for the evening are:
|Competitor||Race One||Race Two||Combined|
With a discount the top three are:
|Competitor||Race One||Race Two||Combined|
Two things strike me immediately. Firstly, I could mess around with numbers for ages and nothing would diminish Chris’s achievements. That man is quick across the wind strength spectrum. He was the most successfully consistent sailor of the night by a mile with lap placings of 5th, 3rd , 2nd , and 1st in race one and 2nd , 1st , 1st and 1st in race two. The second thing I can’t help noticing is that whatever I’m recording, whether it be good or bad sailing, good or bad luck or just general interest, you can’t keep a Kiwi out of the picture.
So, in deference to them, as we look forward to next Monday’s racing, I’ll just say, “Kia Kaha”
PS You will notice that Nathaniel does not appear on the official score sheet. That’s because you didn’t tally Nathaniel. If you’ve got a good excuse (upper body hyperthermia perhaps?), I might be persuaded to let you off! Be warned everybody else – we’ve been tallying on and off for ages now so don’t forget to do it.