Sonata Race Report – Saturday 27th April 2024

If your palette of choice leans towards grey, today was the day for you. Thankfully, despite the gloomy skies, we were spared the rain. The water was a mix of greys and browns, the sort of consistency any Thames Water customer knows well.

Six boats: Cry Havoc, Blue Tack, Skipper, Munchkin, Screwloose, and Musical Express, lined up for the first race of the year.

Having been promised a variety of different wind directions, from a selection of weather apps, we started with a north easterly as we headed down to 28. Screwloose took the lead with Blue Tack and Musical fighting for second. The crew of Screwloose went through their usual ritual of confirming red marks were labelled with even numbers and green with odd. This was a wasted effort, throughout the race someone, no names mentioned, would call out a mark number and state the wrong colour.

We looped around 28, 27, and 28 again before heading all the way down to MYC4. Blue Tack was moving well, despite being only two up. Screwloose maintained the lead with Musical taking second. As we passed Folly Musical took the lead, they had one more crew member on board which favoured the up wind legs.

After reaching MYC4 it was back down to 22, on route our skipper called out our speed of 29 knots. We threw around a few quizzical looks and the reading was adjusted down to 2.9 knots, we all agreed this was more likely. After the spinnaker run down to 22 it was back to MYC4, the next marks were 28, 25 and finally the club line. Some successful spinnaker runs enabled us to close the gap on Musical. Sometime after rounding MYC4 for the final time our skipper raised the alarm, “we only have 1.6 meters”, I pointed out we were in the middle of the channel and Steve reminded us it was high tide. Steve then leant over and moved the gib sheet which had been obscuring the instruments. Paul relaxed, “11.6 meters”.

As we neared 28 we managed to pull ahead of Musical. In anticipation of rounding the mark we dropped our spinnaker only to hear the rib sound a horn indicating a shortening of the race. Musical kept theirs flying but we still, somehow, managed to pass the makeshift line before them.

The final results: Screwloose, Musical, Skipper, Munchkin.

Both Cry Havoc and Blue Tack retired. Cry Havoc suffered from forestay failure, thankfully, no serious damage resulted and they were able to return home.

I’ve come to believe that the crew of Screwloose doesn’t have a problem with odd and even numbers specifically, it’s more a general number problem. If your treasurer does ever step down I think it is important to agree that no one from Screwloose should be nominated for the position.