After the storm of protest which followed the Trustees’ decision to cancel the racing last week, they relented this week and a decision was made….
“Oh ye WS Racers who wish to race, get down to the lake early before the heavy rain and stormy weather arrives. Racing will commence at 11am and you’ll be off the water at Noon – just…only just…..before the deluge!”.
All other sailing had been cancelled due to the expected drizzly conditions from the off….to which the volunteers who arrived at 0830 to get six 303s, two Libertys, one Martin and two 2.4ms, plus all the safety craft in the water, can attest! But solid teamwork meant that all was ready in good time for the early rush…
but because all was ready and the Session Manager (aka David Mckee) knew that nobody other than Racers were going to appear. he asked the Race Hut to start the Race schedule immediately. “Immediately? At 10am? ” asked the Race Hut. “Yes!” boomed the Session Manager over the radio! So the Tannoy also boomed and a race was underway after a one minute warning. The Session Manager’s plan was that as Racers arrived, boats would be called off the water and Racers would take their rightful places as Racing Helms. (Wow a conveyor belt of Racers from the clubhouse straight to the pontoons and into boats. Fantastic! Ed)
So the first race had begun and been finished (I cannot recall the name of the winning helm, but it was a 303!! Ed) and a second race had begun and then a few WS Racers started to arrive – first was Mike Blatchford, then Peter Wagner, then Martin Newman and then Fay – wow, so many keen Racers and all with some wet-weather gear!! David met them and said …onward to the Pontoons to be stowed into boats of your choice….and we’ll get the next race underway prontissimo. This was fantastic – until the cry was heard “What about coffee. Isn’t their time for coffee? ” “NO!” replied you know who. “Bad weather is on its way and we don’t want you chaps and chapesses to get wet (or at any rate, not too wet)”. By now the second race had finished (I cannot recall the name of the winning helm, but it was a 303!! Ed) and it was felt that there were sufficient WS Racers to form a quorum for an official Summer Series Race….ASAP!!!!! So every effort was made to get Helms and Crews into boats of their choice and out on the water. So efficient were the volunteers in doing this that by 1030 we were ready for the off….but then calamity – Mr Wagner had sailed off into the trees on the north shore (miles away from the Commando which – once they had decided Peter wasn’t actually going to get out of the trees – rescued him and brought him slowly to the pontoon) which meant that he had to be found an alternative craft! “Your preference Sir?” I think the Session Manager asked Peter. “A Liberty would be fine”. OK – right, which volunteer is in a LIberty. Good, get him over to the pontoon and help Mr Wagner in. (Why does he seem to have so much bad luck? His boats always seem to break. Ed)
Are we ready now – ummmmm – NO! Louise is here and Trevor- a newcomer (Welcome Trevor – it’s not always like this, Ed) wishes to participate . Now are we ready…NO! Mr Hill has just arrived and wants to race. “OK keep the Racers on the water happy – ask for their forebearance and anything else you can think of! We need another 2 minutes,” says you know who. Are we ready now?…..Yes?…NO! Somebody is busting for a pit stop…..wait, please. (It was so nice of this chap to spend another few minutes coming to tell us in the Race Hut that he wasn’t retiring and wanted to race after he had….OK, fine, whatever (As the young people say. Ed) please just get on the water. It was now 1043.
The race gong sounded the 3 minute warning at 1047 and the fleet got away into a light West breeze, heading towards the windward Mark Buoy A. With the 2.4m (Sail #109) helmed by David Mason stealing a march on the fleet on starboard tack – whilst most of the fleet were on port tack (as can be seen below).
And after 200 metres he was well out in front (And out of the picture below. Ed) well on the way to the first Mark. The fleet of WS Racers were supported by Mike Mckenzie, James Taylor and Allan who crewed for Malcolm, Fay and Trevor respectively and that fleet was augmented by some top dog sailors from amongst the volunteers, namely Don (303 #6), Mike C (2.4m #108)and Peter C (303 #9).
And the race continued with some close match ups between various groups in the fleet and, as seen in recent races and results, even though the lower handicapped boats may seem to be a long way behind the leaders, they are actually right up vying for top honours.
The WS Summer Series Race #3 was completed by 11.20 (Results below), so the Session Manager asked the Race Hut to organise a follow up Race. (Why? Since they were all on the water and might as well sail rather than get ashore and enjoy their packed lunches in the (dry) clubhouse? Ed) No problem, responded the Race Hut, we can sound the 3 minute gong immediately. Not so fast, says you know who. Tell the helms that there will be another race and offer them the opportunity to change their Class of boat if they would like. (Oh dear – the downpour is still on its way! Ed) OK, fine…the Tannoy boomed out the information and the offer to change boats. A few did – Peter Wagner switched back into his preferred 2.4m (from the Liberty) (Is that the one which had been race tuned by Mike Coleman in the previous race? Ed) Malcolm decided to come ashore (A very wise move. Ed) and Helen Fairfax and Mike Mckenzie took over Malcolm’s Martin #126. John Masters joined the fray in 303 #1 and Peter Coulcher switched mounts from 303 #9 to 303 #6.
Eventually the second SPRINT race got underway at 11.45 with one of the 2.4ms being a little too eager and crossing the Start Line 2 seconds early. It was called back by the Race Hut and continued the race without obstructing any other boat. It seemed that the helms had all got used to the wind now and there was a good tussle up to the windward Mark but the 2.4ms and Martins were showing why they have higher PY ratings. Peter Wagner and David Mason were toing and froing throughout the downwind leg (from B to D) with Peter just sneaking around the leeward marks D and J ahead of David. Martin Newman in his Martin #125 was keeping them in sight and if there had been a wind shift he would have been close enough to take advantage. The 303s were evenly matched and seemed to be sailing well in the stiffer breeze which had arrived by now, preceding the promised heavy rain! And that rain (Deluge! Ed) arrived as forecast with the leaders still 3 minutes from the Finish Line and those at the back of the fleet still had some 7 minutes of very wet sailing to endure, before they finished!!
There was a mad dash by every helm to the pontoons and all volunteer hands were evident on shore, helping the Racers to get off the water and up to the clubhouse as quickly as possible. A GREAT EFFORT BOYS and GALS – Thank you (Indeed!! Ed) This was followed by a very convivial lunch together at which Paul Cove announced the Race Results – and the Trustees decided that the first Race would be the “official” WS Summer Series Race #3.
A fantastic morning of fun and sailing! I hope you all enjoyed yourselves. (I am sure that the no shows will be sad they couldn’t make it. Ed)
Results of Summer Series Race #3
1. Trevor and his crew Allan (303D)
2. Peter Wagner (Liberty)
3. Martin Newman (Martin)
4. Fay and her crew James (303D)
5. Malcolm Hill / Mike Mckenzie (Martin))
6. David Mason (2.4m)
7. Louise McSweeney (303S)
8. Mike Blatchford (Liberty)
Results of Sprint Race
1. Peter Wagner (2.4m)
2. David Mason (2.4m)
3. Fay Watson and her crew James Taylor (303D)
4. Louise McSweeney (303S)
5. Mike Blatchford (Liberty)
6. Martin Newman (Martin)