Sail Chat: 21.08.2022 Long Distance Race

Amazing what a bit of persuasion and the lure of a delicious BBQ can have to get sailors out! But first the morning handicap! Welcomed by a cooling and steady south westerly breeze of about 9 mph, only three set out Tim Herbert-Smith in a Comet, David in his Solo and me with Jane Enterprise. It was a delightful sail but the last 15 minutes was an indication of the wind for later, as it dropped considerably.
Officiating were Steve and Sue from Lymington and old friends Nicky and Steve from a long way away. Our thanks to them all. In the not quite such a hot box were ace Timer’s Margaret and Nicky.
The afternoon race was the long distance race and it attracted 10 Merlin Rocket sailors, who had been whipped in by Stuart Jenkins. Quite a few familiar faces were seen and the club came alive with babies and toddlers, just like delightful days of yesteryear! The youngest Ms Harridge announced herself forcefully and Ms Jackson was seen foraging in the bins. Sadly the wind was not playing, it had dropped, become fickle and, at times directionless. 
First to start were the three Enterprises, one GP and two Comets. After a short gap the ten Merlins fought for supremacy in the failing wind, often sagging spinnakers telling the tale. Richard Parsloe and Simon Girven took only a lap to overtake the Enterprises, Comets and GP but others struggled as the sun came out and it became hot and nearly windless. The course was set in long laps D to J instead of length because of the conditions and lasted, for some, over two hours. Richard and Simon won, Alex Jackson and Tim Harridge  (Merlins) were second, Ian and Suzie (Enterprise) third and Jane with Sue (Enterprise) tied with Hywell (Merlin) and the tiny and charming Austin for fourth. There were a few retirements.
Then followed a most delicious BBQ cooked expertly by Mack, helped by Ian. A considerable array of salads was provided by other club members and Sue Harridge officiated untiringly in the kitchen. The bar was smoothly run by Stevie G and the irrepressible Ben. 
Congratulations to our Commodore and Brian who won a magnificent trophy in the old gaffers race on the Solent.
Great to see so many sailing, long may it last.

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