Nearly twenty years ago Alan Hansen (Match of the Day pundit, Scotland and Liverpool footballer) foolishly stated “You can’t win anything with kids”. Foolish? Yes, because the side he was criticising went on to win the Premier League and FA Cup that season! Well, we had a few youngsters sailing with us for the last Monday informal mini-series. And it would be very foolish indeed to think of them as anything but winners. Ben Purrier (5th overall & 1st Radial) and Edward Schuster-Bruce (10th overall & 3rd Radial), both sailed their Laser impeccably. They had been given parental permission to take part because school hadn’t finished their summer break yet. This freedom didn’t extend to drinking in the bar afterwards, however, so the ever – youthful Bob Cudmore, (8th overall & 2nd Radial), was able to claim the 1st Radial Prize!
In a similarly generous way, Giles Kuzyk (1st overall & 1st Standard) tried his best to help someone else win a prize by chatting to us just before he’d actually crossed the finish line. To be fair, we don’t normally have an outer distance mark on Monday nights and he had travelled all the way from Garda to be with us. This coupled with his non-appearance in the bar (jet lag??), gifted the 1st Standard prize to Chris Whalley (2nd overall & 2nd Standard) – so Emma, if you’re reading this make sure you get your share of the bottle of red wine!
Those of you who have taken part in this event before know that we start early (this time just after 5.30pm, a bit later than we promised so apologies to Stuart for keeping him waiting). People join in whenever they can and, if you want a series result, you have to complete two races. By the time we had thought about starting the third race, we had 32 Lasers on the water. This presented the race team with a choice. Firstly, we had to consider upping anchor and extending the line, (we’d already moved the Odm once to combat the rightward trending wind) or to stay put and use some lateral thinking. Physical indolence won the day and we decide to start the Standards first on 2 minutes and the Radials on 3. Strange I hear you say. Well, the lateral thinking kicked in with the decision to set the Standards two laps of triangles and the Radials two laps of sausages. This created the hoped-for mayhem at the leeward mark, although most people coped without resorting to illegality. This gave Pam Woodall the opportunity to win the third prize of the evening by expertly shutting out her partner David Pratt with a perfectly executed mark rounding.
If you’ve only ever done Monday Night’s Gate Boat starting, you’re probably wondering what all this chat concerning an outer distance mark and a finish line is all about. Obviously when you have to get over an imaginary line right on time, judgement of time and distance becomes paramount. The race team attempted to ameliorate the difficulties of this problem by shouting out the count down to the start. We still had people pushing their luck though and those that were over were ordered back by the PRO; and they did as they were told! All this talk about starting, allowed us to give out the fourth prize of the evening. A generous Colston decided to make everyone feel better about their starting by showing just how badly you can start when you try. Letting people go to free up your chance to go right is one thing but giving everyone a 3-minute start is a bit overly generous methinks!
Most people enjoyed the evening, some more than others – Pete Taylor was very vocal in his appreciation of the wind and his results, (23rd overall & 17th Standard). He was particularly impressed by being beaten by 6 Radials! Courtenay’s results give some indication of how the vagaries of the wind and the whims of the race team combined to make it difficult to be consistent. A 5th and 6th in the first two races were followed by a 26th and a 14th in the last two when a greater number of sailors were on the water. Of course, later in the bar, Courtenay had a plethora of plausible explanations for this demise in his fortunes, but I drank more than enough Tanglefoot to remember any of them! Mary Reddyhoff was one of 16 sailors who managed to sail all four of the evening’s races and the gently subsiding wind reflected her results. However, she assured me that she now was thoroughly decided about the relative merits of the Laser and the Ok regarding their comfort!
The final prize of the evening went to the person making the biggest effort to get to this event. On any other night Rob Clarke and Giles would have walked it, (not literally, Lake Garda is far too far away for that!). But, once again Andrew Taylor travelled all the way from New Zealand to be with us. He was gracious enough to comment that his prize of a bottle of Pale Ale more than compensated for his £900 air fare!
Now listen. I’m a sensitive bloke. No, honestly; don’t pay any attention to my wife’s thoughts on this matter. I’m in tune with you all. I know that you’re thinking, “What am I going to do with my Monday nights now?” Well, here’s the answer: Monday night is quiz night at the club and the Lasers have a team, (sometimes 2!!). Why not join us? Andrew, I’ll let you off. Just give Captain Colston Nichols a message and he’ll find you a berth.
Until the new Monday series then
Monday night scorer