I have a confession to make; I quite like a glass of ale now and again, but some of you may already know that. However, I’m not sure I can match the enthusiasm for the stuff shown by Andrew Taylor, who, on hearing that one of our Fleet Captains was offering a free beer, as a reward for taking part in ‘Big Monday’, decided to travel 12,000 miles to get his. Chapeaux to our Kiwi mate! Showing equal fortitude, his antipodean compatriot, Courtenay, made the supreme effort of cycling all the way from the bottom of Elms Avenue! 37 sailors out of the 48 who raced claimed their ‘bounty’ with lots staying on to enjoy the ambiance of the bar. So, it was a tremendous effort, both on and off the water!
Our thanks go to Bob Jennings and his crew for providing us with an entertaining evening of racing on a glorious, Poole Harbour – special, summer evening. Bob had the unenviable task of keeping our unruly hot-shots in order. Ian Roman can lay a fair claim to being one of those, but whether he can be described as unruly or a hotshot I’ll leave up to you. Roberta is pretty decisive on the subject of this debate mind, and after his effort at starting the second race, she publicised her opinion with a ringing clarity! In the words of the immortal Eddie Waring, it was an early bath for Ian. Apart from this event in race two and some naughty, early starters in race one, the Gate Boat starts passed off without the traditional ‘Big Monday’ mayhem.
The evening began with a frisky, south-westerly wind which unfortunately gave all the appearance of lasting about as long as a relationship forged on ‘Love Island’. Predictably, therefore the wind dropped off as the evening wore on, (there’s probably another ‘Love Island’ joke in there somewhere), and also clocked right. This variability allowed a returning hot-shot, Giles Kuzyk to demonstrate that he’d lost none of his skill. He claimed top spot for the evening with a total of 6 points, (5th in race 1 and 1st in race 2). Josh Flack and Chris Whalley gave him a run for his money but neither of them could sustain their success in race 1 where they finished 2nd and 1st respectively. Iain Reid flourished in these conditions finishing second overall with a 7th and 2nd place to his name.
There were some notable changes in fortune throughout the evening; Peter Gordon took the unwanted prize of biggest inconsistency with a gap of 23 points, (4th in race 1 & 27th in race 2). Ashley Harris did his best to keep him company but only managed a miserly gap of 11 points, (R1:3rd, R2:14th).
Those two giants of the Radial fleet, Roberta and Harry, the younger Cowell, duked it out as normal. Only one place separated them after race 1. Maybe it was because she was tired after her tremendous efforts of the week-end when she finished third overall in the Laser Masters Nationals but she couldn’t hold on to the whippersnapper in race 2 when he managed to get 6 boats in between them, (none of them Radials though). Martin, the not quite so younger Cowell, had a consistent evening and took the last remaining place on the Radial podium.
And so, our latest ‘Big Monday’ has passed. It was another brilliant night of noisy mark roundings; it was a friendly feast of disputatious delight with Andy Taylor (again?) and Jon Gorringe well to the fore. Can a boat be stopped from sailing its proper course was the moot point, I believe? But, most importantly of all, it was great, great fun, unless, of course you weighed over 90 kgs and had decided to put the Radial rig up – Bob Cudmore will enlighten you further I’m sure! BZs to the female half of our Fleet Captain duo for perfect organisation and again to Bob Jennings for giving up his free time for our enjoyment.
In conclusion, I’m going to say, finding it hard to doff my progressive (ex) teacher’s hat, that everyone who took part was a winner! But, for you hard-headed reactionaries, here’s an extended podium table for you:
|Standard Rig||Radial Rig|
|1||Giles K||5||1||6||1||Harry C||2||1||3|
|2||Iain R||7||2||9||2||Roberta H||1||2||3|
|3||Chris W||1||8||9||3||Martin C||4||4||8|
|4||Robert P||6||4||10||4||Bob C||6||3||9|
|5||Ann K||10||3||13||5||Emma A-L||8||5||13|
|6||Josh F||2||12||14||6||Sheila B||5||8||13|
JK: Dog Robber Rtd. (in every sense!)