Race Reports: 1st July

This week a brief and to-the-point report from the Squibs (thank you Mark Rowntree) followed by what can only be termed a masterpiece from the Sonatas (Paul Botterill/Ian Long, I fear you have missed your vocation!).

Squib Report

The forecast was for a westerly of Force 4, gusting 6, and the tide was ebbing fast all afternoon.
Course 78 was chosen, but converted to an upriver start after discussion with the OOD (all classes did an upriver start). The windward mark was laid unfortunately rather near Upnor Castle, making the rounding a bit of a lottery.
Monkey Business, Legend and Black Mark came to the start, BM choosing the starboard end of the line, and the others the port, and then going up the river inside the trots. BM chose to go straight up the river (in more tide but with less tacking). This definitely paid off and BM was well ahead at Upnor Castle.
It was then a long run down past 30 to 24, and the a beat back to 30. On this beat BM and Legend definitely caught up a lot and the two changed positions several times. However BM kept the lead on the run back to 24 (when Legend decided to retire), and on the beat back to the club the positions didn’t change.
It was a good sail, certainly not a boring one, and I don’t think the wind ever reached a six.
The safety boat, Water Rat, did a good job, but didn’t need to help any of us. I hope there are more next time.
Mark Rowntree


Sonata Report

Location: Upnor Club line

Position: looking upriver

Wind: yes

Course: could always be better

Hindsight: Lots by all of the fleet from second place downwards

A Bardish rendition with a little help from the odd Lord.

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Bugger me no! What with that edge to the wind yet again, it rightfully was regarded as ‘chilly’. Salopettes were issue of the day, light string vest under polo shirt and then simply brave it; for clothes maketh the man.

To the southwest we faced and onward to Upnor Castle with castellated shoulders proud the fair Sonatas bound. With breaking wind from ‘ere ‘n breaking wind from there, aboard the goodly Watersong the complaint could be heard of  – for Chrissakes Major what did you have for breakfast??

The fleet had moaned, the fleet had droned, for yea whoever gets to the mark first will be away with tidal fleet of foot in the direction of Oslo.

And so it was then proven, some’s races were in ruin, for Oslo was to be the next stop for Red Dwarf with pursuing fleet fanny-ing and fumble-ing, crews grumbling and cussing with all hopes crumbling.

Twas heard from many a deck this was to be a chronicle of wasted time and loves labours lost, course 50 was not to be spent swiftly. The curse of 50 was not the promise of such a beauteous day so many hopes had been pinned to.

Onward and onward toward 24, or 25 or possibly 26? (can’t remember, too busy looking at a spinnaker). The pursuing fleet stretched, compressed, lengthened, shortened, extended and reduced, it was like kneading dough……..beg your pardon……..it kneadeth dough.

Succour to the chasing fleet was enjoyed with tidal illusion as marks were approached. In to tide the fleet bumbled and affirmed the Dwarf had been caught. As tide gave hope, tide then said nope. Our eyes and hearts were at mortal war. As fast as thou shalt grow’st, so fast as thou shalt wane. Rounding 25 (possibly 26) alight the hand of the Mudway…….. Bugger! She’s gone again

In tepid pursuit the soon to be vanquished busied themselves with scheming, planning and plotting the demise of Dwarf. Yet all was fading as the fleet headed toward twenty-something. A turn to the left at twenty-something taking the fleet across the deep bit of river to twenty-something-else compressed the tracking pack as all turned into tide and onward.

Caution was seen by most with only Blue-Tac summoning daring and pluck to gamble the south shore. As Blue-Tac broke away most in the fleet murmured ‘wot a bunch of dumb pluckers’.

But where for art though fortitude and resolve when needed? For all the toil the chasers expended, most came to nought. For the Blue-Tac reappeared twice traversing the Mudway heading for MYA1 and now placed back in the mix. Who were the ‘dumb pluckers’ now!

Heading for the great valley of doom, the established chasing fleet jockeyed for position against a still rampant emptying tide. Twixt the Forts, was that a dagger we could see before us? Or a Folly of fatal vision who speaketh ‘Come, let me clutch you’. To a man, the fleet decided Folly could keep his hands to himself and off our collective clutches. A desirous distance was kept and no one fell foul, nor e’en Skipper, renowned for the much ado of the ‘mounting of the Folly’…….allegedly.

Forward and forward went the baying pack and on to twenty – something-entirely-different rounding to the right-hand side and heading to the north shore whereon short tacking was plenteous.

Musical Express jostled ahead of Watersong; Blu-tac jostled with herself with some confusion aboard. Of most, a guest foredeck person upon the good ship Blue-Tac spake of all being Greek to her when instruction of heading for the middle of the Mudway and into tide, sallied forth from the over testosteroned cockpit. In Sharpish response from tiller wielding helm the retort of ‘the lady doth protest too much’ was much muttered under cursed tongue.

Clear of the north shore, half a boat length, half a boat length onward sailed the six-ish boats. With wind shifts to the right of them, wind shifts to the left of them, wind shifts in front of them, headed and lifted, badly they sailed into the reach of the Heartbreak, into the jaws of disappointment, into the mouth of the club line.

Cannon was fired to the right of them and what was done was done – just not very well.

All losers moored up to lick their wounds and cry ‘Oh woe is me!’

The Dwarf retired and besmirched with much levity the motley losers bereft of glory from the view of the Dragon Bar.

Weary with toil, we hastened to our bed, but not before a very average pint and the cursed lip of the Bar Steward. Alas poor Neil, I knew him well – before he got so bitter and twisted – like his beer.

The scriptwriting team would like to thank the following:

William Shakespeare

Lord Tennyson

…..and would like to add that no offence was intended with the bastardisation of any original or established writing that may have some coincidental reflection in the above diatribe.

…an original idea by Mr. Ian Long