Sail Chat: Boxing Day RNLI Pennant

Boxing Day 2017 brought sparkling weather to Hampton S.C. for our annual RNLI Pennant race. With a fresh SSW breeze and sunshine the conditions were ideal for the windward leeward course set by our Commodore and his cloth capped assistant. Slight postponement as a few youthful crews caught up with beauty sleep but the race got underway at 12:10.

Good showing for this year’s race and an improvement on last year when numbers dwindled. In the Merlin fleet there was Philip with Suzie, Stuart and Immy, Rob with Jo and Richard and John Hollands (briefly).
In the Enterprise fleet, a welcome return of Chris back from University with brother Timmy, Jane and Lucy Cooper (good to see you afloat) and me with Alexandra. In the Handicap were David (holder of the pennant) in his Solo and twins Jason and Anthony in their Laser 2. No show from the comfortable fleet. One supposes they need extra sleep and of course wine consumption may have been a consideration?

The start was an interesting affair as the wind piped up and there was a large impediment half way up the line (see pic). Whatever, Philip/Suzie had a cracking start and all of us dodged the swimmers. The conditions were lovely and a prolonged port tack to windward from Garrick’s to the waterworks could at times be held. It was Hampton at its best and a worthy end to great year of sailing. Philip and Lizzie held their lead and were worthy winners of the RNLI Pennant.

We all then enjoyed the tasty, seasonal, collective, spread and mulled wine and beer from our splendid bar and colourful (shirt) barman. The Commodore celebrated birthdays, including his own and made cheerful pronouncements; Lucy Penwarden is organising ‘The London Challenge’ on 23rd February 2018 – for more details contact her, and George stalked us all with vital sub renewals.

I leave you with my crews quote of the year – ‘We are not going in’ – this of course refers to never retiring!

Happy New Year to all our readers, may 2018 be peaceful,communal and breezy.

See you soon,

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