4 boats were in attendance as the forecast said summer would return after a 2 month absence, and the wind would be 12-18 mph and the weathermen (and women) were correct this time
So Legend, Avocet, Monkey Business and White Knuckles were on the line as the starting gun, with L having a slight advantage.
A was going well and took the lead by Wilsonians, and L overstood Mears allowing the boats behind to catch up.
Long beat down river between the forts and turning right towards buoy20.Avocet in the lead with the gap extending and narrowing as winshifts came and went.
Half way between 22 and 20, things got interesting. L on port was watching out for A to tack out on starboard, but it did not seem to be happening. Finally absorbed the fact that A was on starboard, but not actually moving!
Oh says I, we had better tack, and as I said it we stopped dead on a mud bank, nose dipped and me and Stan rolled to the front of the boat.
Luckily for us, heeling the boat with Stan hanging off the mast got us off and on our way, whilst A was having a paddle and a push to resume racing.
From 20 to MYA1 was a pleasant spinnaker reach, and for the first time ever, we managed to get spinnaker up and down with no major hiccups, and hardened upto head back to 20, which must have impressed MB as they were now in second and were watching us sail the wrong course.
I noticed in time that we were supposed to go round 24 and 25 before heading back to 20, so more spinnaker practise ensued as we bore away 100 degrees and headed for 24, still in a diminished lead.
Sometime whilst we were out , high tide passed and the spring tide was now gushing towards the sea, accompanied by huge rafts of sea weed and lumps of wood that were best avoided.
Round 20 again and it was spinnaker up for a run/reach to the finish., with MB just far enough behind so that our wind was not disturbed and that was how we finished with A third after the paddling interlude.
At least we seem to have perfected our method statement for spinnaker up and down after years of sailing with a chute to aid us, but now have to get used to a keel as opposed to the centreboard and watch the depth sounder with more diligance.
By Roger Gibbs (Legend)