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05 May 2011
Race Report - 5 May 2011

  Tuesday, 3 May at Holm SC was a beautiful sunny evening with a good sailing breeze but what a difference at Stromness on Thursday - cold, wet, windy and gloomy, and that was just me. You can always tell if the skippers are thinking the Golf Club bar may be a better option because they hang around the hut and leave their boats well alone but Johnny Robertson had his wind speed gauge with him (did anyone else get a look at it?) and convinced them it was not as bad as it looked so all eight boats took to the water.

There is nothing quite like a good blow for testing sailors and sorting out those whose gear maybe needed just a little more checking after the winter lay-up. Go Quickly Red was first on the water, the skipper having ditched his regular crew for the evening in order to take out a completely novice crew. Launching via the mooring rope is a pain but it does work, as long as you secure your boatʼs painter to the mooring rope while you finish rigging. He didnʼt but, to be fair, he did give a good demonstration of fixing a rudder and centre- board in windy conditions with the boat tossing around and sailing backwards under main towards a lee shore. All too soon that fun was over and he was back and tied on. His regular crew was physically ditched too when Hassfang didnʼt make it away from the slip before capsizing. (Why do I never have my camera handy?)

 

The start of the first race was uneventful as no boat had the slightest chance of being over the line but within seconds gear failure hit Go Faster Blue and she was left with no jib control. With a bit of jury rigging and a new slit window in the jib window they were soon back under way trying to catch the rest of the fleet. Catching was made a bit easier by the capsize of Go Quickly Red at the first gybe mark after a new and longer tiller extension became entangled in the main sheet during the gybe. Skipper and crew both went into the water and the safety boat stood by to retrieve the crew while the skipper tried several times before succeeding to right the boat. By then the crew was cold and taken ashore, still smiling, while the safety boat crew sailed back with the skipper and was thanked for his trouble by tripping as he climbed out of the boat and going into the water head first.

 

Meanwhile Bonxie and Wild Goose had capsized at the next gybe mark. Bonxie was righted quite quickly but broke off the tiller extension and bent a new burgee in the process. Wild Goose continued drifting towards the lee shore for some time before she could be righted. Her crew seemed to positively relish being dunked but maybe not the skipper as he does like his points. Both Bonxie and Wild Goose rejoined the race chasing No Fear, Go Faster Blue, Double Dutch (previously named Mercury Too) and Hassfang. The skipper of Go Faster Blue admitted afterwards that he had decided to tack round at all the gybe marks. Noringa, with a smart new paint job this year, retired. Only five boats sailed in the second race and no-one wanted to do a third. The full results were as follows:

 

Race 1: 1 No Fear (Neil Foubister/Simon Kemp), 2 Go Faster Blue (Pete Tipler/Johnny Robertson), 3 Bonxie (James Burgon/Magnus Johnston), 4 Double Dutch (Kenny Holland/Dave Bews), 5 Wild Goose (Mark Taylor/Steph Wauchope), 6 Hassfang (Chris Moore/Paula Hemsley), Rtd. Go Quickly Red, Noringa

 

Race 2: 1 Go Faster Blue, 2 Wild Goose, 3 No Fear, 4 Double Dutch, 5 Hassfang, DNS Go Quickly Red, Bonxie, Noringa

 

Many thanks to the safety boat skipper Dave Wishart and his crew, Donnie Hall. The starter was Isobel Tipler.

 

Isobel Tipler

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