I got down to the lake at 8.30am to help to rig and launch the extensive fleet (of dinghies, the Lugger and safety boats) now available to Wealden Sailability and was hoping the NNE/NE wind would pick up at least to the speed forecast by Windguru for Chipstead for the morning – namely 5 to 7 mph. I went out with William at 1030 and we started to sail the course from Mark A to Mark D. It was possible but the wind was so light and erratic that it took us over half an hour just to sail between the two Marks.
So, regrettably, just a few minutes before it was scheduled to start and as the temperature reached 25 dgs, I recommended to Steve Thomas that the Race should be cancelled. This was agreed and I then went round in the Race Commando letting the WS Racers, who were making their way down to the Start Line, of this decision. The only helm who appeared to be disappointed was David Mason who, having bagged a 2.4, felt that he would be missing an opportunity for a good result. Sorry David!
Many thanks to other WS Racers who came along for the race, namely: Andy, Ann, Bob, Brian, Fay, John, Malcolm, Mark, Mike, Peter W, Phil and William. And thanks to the WS volunteer crews! It was also good to welcome Mike Coleman back on the water after his house move – or was it a dog-catching marathon?
At lunchtime Bob Fisher was showing to anyone who wished to watch, a film that he had made concerning some of the accusations he has made in his race reports over recent weeks about underhand goings-on surrounding the WS Racing activities. Although I found the film amusing, and even thought it might be suitable to be published on this website, I was so shocked at its conclusion that that thought went out of my mind immediately – and I can only hope that Mike Blatchford accepts my unreserved apology! Later, once I had got home, I received a note from Bob in which I expected to read his apology to me…..but all he said was:
Understandably today’s racing was cancelled because of lack of wind since Farmer who normally provides about 75 per cent of the wind was busy elsewhere. However, when we arrived everyone thought the race would proceed as normal and I did notice a certain tension on the jetty when the boats were being allocated. Kermit is undoubtedly the prize vessel and it seems only a matter of time before someone falls (is pushed) off the pontoon in the melee trying to get aboard. Let’s take Fay as an example. Earlier in the summer, she would stop to ask me how I was, or to discuss the weather etc. But today, no such friendly chit chat, and I may be wrong but I think I saw her carrying a collapsible weapon to make sure she got her vessel of choice. She obviously succeeded as she departed the the jetty in my beloved Red Rocket. Once again I was allocated a nameless lemon, but given my recent run of form, 10th last week, I was expecting a red hot performance. Unfortunately the only things that were red hot were my knees from a very hot sun. I wasn’t surprised that Capt Bligh seemed fairly upset by the decision to cancel. With her 15 minute time advantage over the evil 2.4’s she could have sailed at least 20 yards and hoped nobody else moved in the next 35 minutes. It was a tactic that may have worked, but the correct decision (to cancel the race) was made and shares in sun tan lotions tumbled accordingly. I could see the look of dismay from Fay and the skipper of Kermit, who had no doubt paid enormous bribes to gain the ‘super boats’. Unfortunately no wind, no super boat! And Bligh was in the process of nailing a defenceless helper to her mast. Although many boats were carrying the banned paddles, I did not see any obvious attempts to bend the rules. Except maybe Tony, who was filling his cap with water and then putting it on his head. From his action I wondered if he was 1. a little touched by the sun, 2. in need of a shower or 3. was discreetly paddling and adding further ballast to the boat. The cynic in me suggests option 3 but I leave it to readers to draw their own conclusions. Another interesting observation was the number of fish attempting to jump out of the lake? More members of James’ fan club maybe?
Those of us who hit the clubhouse early were greeted with the sight of what appeared to be a WW2 landing craft chugging up and down the lake. As far as I know it couldn’t escape the lake, so Normandy was 1. a little late and 2. would take some serious navigating. I can only assume some sort of raid is being planned on the houses at the far end of the lake. If this is the case I would like to put Bligh forward as Captain, since it’s pretty important that if this raid is undertaken, no survivors are left alive.
In the meantime David McKee had managed to obtain the water powered kalaknikov that Mark C had used the previous week. Sneaking up behind Mark, David plotted his revenge, but the kalaknikov leaked most of its ammunition onto the front of David’s shorts. Shortly after that a very nice lady with a French accent appeared and said “David, look what you have done.” She then planted a smacker on his head and was introduced as Mrs Mckee. Voila!
So in summary: a beautiful day, nobody overtook me or lapped me, what’s to complain about?