Squib Racing 10th September

With an Ebbing tide and lack of wind there was an interesting start, Legend, Sandy Cheeks, Black Mark, Monkey Business, were all on the line at the gun. But one of us was over, Sandy Cheeks turned back as we were over before the start and weren’t sure if we had got back, only to find Black Mark had been the culprit (must have been the vocal pre-start discussions that distracted them). So as we all drifted down to 31 with spinnakers up we all looked for the next puff. Legend, Avocet, Monkey Business, and Black Mark got away leaving Water Rat and Sandy Cheeks to chaise them down. By 31 Black Mark rounded 1st with Sandy Cheeks having managed to get water and into second place followed by Monkey Business,, Avocet  and Ld. With the wind still light, Black Mark headed for home and Sandy Cheeks pulled out a couple of lengths with Monkey Business, and Avocet  close behind. Then as Sandy Cheeks fell into a hole. Legend came up on a lovely breeze and sailed past us all into 1st place. At 30 Legend rounded a couple of lengths ahead of the pack, Monkey Business,, Avocet  and Sandy Cheeks with Water Rat close behind. Spinnakers up and dead run to 23 (by MYA1). Legend being blanked by the pack headed to deeper water on the Gillingham side while the following 3 abreast of each other carried down on port gybe. Then over the horizon behind came the Wayfarers with the wind on Starboard gybe heading for 26. As the Wayfarers approached there were lots of shouts of starboard even though we were running by the lee and the Wayfarers could have sailed past us if they had headed directly for 26. The Wayfarers by now had pushed us so far across Gillingham Reach that they had to gybe to make 26 where upon the 3 squibs luffed the Warefarers to get back on our course to Folly Point. What excitement for an afternoon sail. By Folly Point Sandy Cheeks had the lead, with Avocet  looking good but headed for H1 to let Monkey Business, through and LD. By 24 Sandy Cheeks had pulled away a few boat lengths with Monkey Business,, Legend and Avocet  all together. Now comes the bit I hate, which side of the river is best as we fight the tide. So Sandy Cheeks and Monkey Business, headed up the Gillingham side while Legend then Avocet  headed for the Hoo Island side. So we decide to go and cover Legend and Avocet  so tacked to get to Hoo Island. Listening to the radio on the way up, the race officer decide to shorten the race at 30. Monkey Business, was looking too good on the other side, should we have stayed. Legend were now tacking better than us and really closing. So we dug deep and concentrated, our tacking improved and pulled away from Legend as we approached the landing platform by 30. Monkey Business, had now tacked to cross the river and the tide was punishing them for their earlier decision, phew. So it was Sandy Cheeks, Legend, Avocet, Monkey Business, and WR. Then too focus on the finish and with the tide ripping past Hoo Ness we went out slightly too deep as Legend were in the shallows. As we tacked Legend were coming out with speed on Starboard and we only had to cross them to take the line. Somehow we squeezed past them with nothing in it to win. Although the wind had been very patchy we managed to make the most of it, this was one of the best racers and highlights the great strength of one design racing as Monkey Business,, Monkey Business,, Avocet, Legend and Sandy Cheeks had all been in the lead at some point during the race. There must also be something about the squibs as even the Bosun lovers to sail with us.

1st Sandy Cheeks

2nd Legend

3rd Avocet

4th Monkey Business

5th Water Rat

Retired Black Mark