A light warm southerly welcomed the few on Sunday 9th April for the morning handicap. Enriched by a very fetching pink paddle past by two well known Enterprise sailors! But the light numbers in no way diminished the level of commitment and competition by Simon and Claude in the Merlin, Christopher and Alexandra in the Enterprise, David in his Solo and Brian in good old Fence Post. With a box like course, with port rounding up river and starboard down, in an attempt to give two short beats, by an apprehensive Race Officer all went well. The Merlin raced away but the Solo and the Enterprise had an exciting race with many place changes; a treat to watch and envy.
Cass Family Robinson then made the most of their maiden sail during the lunch period, proving to be very useful at helming, crewing, driving safety boats and even plaiting rope. Really good to see them.
In the afternoon there was a sudden mass influx of sailors. With some trepidation, the race team, after consultation with ‘senior figures’, continued with the same course but introduced a longer one for the GP’s. By now the wind had piped up considerably and whilst still being roughly from the south it had a nasty habit of backing and veering near the two windward marks.
Only one Merlin again, Simon and Claude, who sailed solo on the same morning course. As a now fully authenticated member of the Afterguard I feel able to say its about time the premiers gave him a bit of competition? Bit of a scrabble by the R.O. as his spidery blackboard skills ended up with a sort of gesticulated and verbal briefing; hmm room for improvement.
Second off were the Enterprises; Chris/Ra, Jane/Sophie, Ian/Sue, Ben and eager son Eddie sailing their maiden Enterprise race, Ellen/Nigel, Colin/Amelia and briefly Stuart and Larysa. Great turn out Fleet thank you!
Mary very kindly, and apparently willingly, surrendered her much prized crewing job to John; Ali was agonising at not being able to sail with John due to broken gear. Also included in their fleet George and Chris, Trevor with visitor Kevin (well done Trevor) and the multi coloured craft of Keith and Stevie G.
The Handicap fleet were represented by David (Solo) and Brian (Laser).
Sailing in the afternoon was challenging and very physical with some strong gusts and I congratulate all those taking part for their fair sailing, no incidents (only failing gear) and best of all no collisions.
Finally many thanks to the team, laugh a minute Alan, Mack, Peter and a ritzy tea from Olivia and Sophie Penwarden; all a joy to work with.
To the Commodore and all in the Caribbean our commiserations but there is the beach, warm seas and those bars!
See you next week.