Thursday, June 12, 2014
Last weekend with races schedules at sea the wind was very light, but a goodly bunch of boats turned out with Rick Newcombe, writes Rex Frost.
There was an initial struggle against the ride but the fleet was then rewarded with two great races completed. The sun and blue sky held into evening and the happy competitors were then able to enjoy the delights of a drink on a sunny balcony on the last day in May.
The Tuesday night race was a committee boat start, with Race officer David Palfreyman setting up the line early. The slow fleet lined up first and were away cleanly as the fast boats crowded in to test the line. At the start there was a good grouping on the line, but Nemesis (Malcolm Lynn), paused on the line and stopped head to wind. He was rapidly left behind. Footloose (Chris Rhodes) had to duck the fleet to start, but rapidly pulled away, with Red Fox pointing high and pulling ahead of the 31.7s. At the windward mark, Matthew Flinders (Hedley Saunders) and Wavelet (Tink Dixon) rounded first with Footloose and Red Fox close behind and then the wind fell light for everyone. At the next mark, Footloose carried their kite as did Matt Flinders, to no obvious good effect and places did not change as the two fleets converged on the finish line of a much shortened course.
Despite the very strong breeze blowing on Wed night a fair number of boats launched for the King Cup. Several capsized before the start and with an adventurous course giving a fast bear away and then a gybe, close to Bull Hill, there were many more. Safety boats were kept on their toes with boats upside down frequently; even the old pros like Chris Rhodes and Les Arscott managed a complete inversion. The spectacle of the night was Victoria Upton’s Feva, reaching unheard of speeds, with her and Anna Broad, screaming with laughter every time they fell over. Many tall tales were told in the clubhouse that evening about their exploits and those of others.
With the ‘wine run’ cruisers away, the Thursday evening race was with a depleted fleet, but four boats appeared for the Fast fleet and five for the Slow. The long beat to number-two buoy split both fleets, with Electra (RexFrost) and Jammin (Donna Best) constantly battling for position. Meanwhile, Seraph (Michael Griffin) quickly overtook Salamander (Robin Adams) and rounded the windward mark with the Fast Fleet. In the dying breeze, Nemesis managed to hold off Jammin, and Fable (Bill Gott) was left to fend off Matthew Flinders. For full results go to; www.exe-sailing-club.org