Sail Chat: 31.07.2016

Along with ‘Ride for London’, we had our own peloton de Hampton as many came by bike.Steady north westerly with cloud cover on this Sunday which at Hampton means reasonable wind below the club and shifty stuff above. Race Officer Richard Page accounted for this with a low E mark and J marks below Garricks Ait. It was a day of exchange as class racing was now in the morning with the handicap in the afternoon. This certainly paid off for numbers sailing in the morning but was somewhat counteracted by the rather chaotic start in the afternoon!

In the morning the Enterprises had a good showing yet again with a welcome return of Stuart and Lara, Ellen with Lucy, Chris and Michaela, Brian with Mack, me and Ra and Howard with his strong silent crew and a stiff neck due to his new rig! Stuart and Lara sprang into the lead and stayed there for some time. Our race was won by a canvas by Chris and Michaela. The Geeps had Derek and Mary, Malky with Jane C, who jumped ship and Trevor with Alison. In the Merlins were Alex and Rachel, the Commodore and Claude, Rob and Jo and Ben with I know not who. Alex did a horizon job with his slender crew and massive spinnaker. In the handicap fleet in a Comet and Solo were Hampton’s answer to Morcambe and Wise also joined by another joker in Fencepost.

In the afternoon handicap we had perhaps the youngest crew for many years as Sammy took Dad out in a red boat. As the line was quite crowded in contrast to our usual dignified four or five boat start there was a certain amount of mayhem. Beastly Merlin tricks as two came in on starboard, Dad tried a heart stopping manoeuvre which Sammy never even noticed and at least two boats got pushed out. The R.O. took us to the close E mark again and then down river to K then a sausage to J. This was definitely outside the norm as some sailed past the sausage and had to go back, some went round it more times than required and it was rumoured that one even missed it altogether!

Taking part were a motley crew Alex/ Commodore, Chris/ Michaela, Peter, SSOTP David, Keith/ Ellen (nice line in spinnaker work), Brian/Aviator, Ben/Claude, me with pressed crew Gavin (good to see you back) Rob and Jo and of course the redoubtable Sammy with Dad. Sorry if I missed anyone but different is confusing at HSC.

Cracking tea from Jane and Ra with free scones and chocolate brownies. Especial thanks to Peter OTI for lending me his assistant bar officer and working doubly hard.
Last Improver’s next Saturday at 1100 – tacking, gybing, coming alongside and if it’s nice and I can get a volunteer capsize ‘demonstration’. Chichester Rally 20th August.


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