Saturday’s wind prediction precipitated a number of WhatsApp messages discussing the merits of the scheduled windward leeward racing and whether it was the sensible option for the Wayfarers. The decision made was to put the start back to the normal time and try round the cans racing. This being organised, five intrepid teams set off from a rather gusty hard. Of the five, three were in full sail, one was reefed and one was using a cut down version the size of which can usually only be seen being worn by gyrating performers based in Thailand.
Wild Thing (11315, Mike Pimm and Pete Dilley) made an excellent start with the rest of the fleet being a tad line line shy on the incoming tide. Wild Thing was followed by Hercules Hound (10686, Brian and Liz Mckenzie), Ubique (11080, Chris Parish and Kerry Worsfold), Loose Knots (10614, Mark Penny and Sarah Mason) and La Rive (10615, Alberto Quaglia and Jim Farley). The wind had slightly abated and allowed for unexpected spinnakers to buoy 31, the first mark, with Wild Thing still leading. Following 31 the fleet made its way to buoy 28 with the wind becoming more challenging.
As we approached Mears, Hercules Hound made up ground to take the lead with other places remaining unchanged. Rounding 28 the wind had eased again making the gybe comfortable and keeping the fleet
together. La Rive, with the reefed sail, did not have the handling expected and was wrestling the boat around the course in fifth place, managing to kiss 28 for a small penalty. Back up to buoy 29 Ubique and Loose Knots chased down Wild Thing who slipped to fourth following another gybe at 29. The fleet then made it way back to 28 as the final gybe mark then back up to buoy 31.
From Mears to buoy 31 the fleet had some fantastic two sail reaching with all boats planning with huge spray and screaming especially from Loose Knots. Hercules Hound and Ubique closely battled for first place. Ubique, sporting her ‘kathoey’ sail managing to withstand the gusts without bearing away and really pressed for the lead. Hercules Hound held her nerve for the win with Ubique in second, followed by Loose Knots, Wild Thing and La Rive.
Some muttered it was a short race at only 37 minutes but I think at least we sailed in 20+ knots or breeze and we conquered.
Mark Penny, Loose Knots