Sail Chat: 18.12.2022

Complete 360 by the weather, temperature up by 13% and wind and rain from the south east. John Bell with Ben as race team, so some interesting race management expected and experienced! Maddie and Deirdre in the Box, so first no sound signals, just flags, then lot’s of sounds with a commentary but possibly down to snow in the electrics! The racing marks were down river at I and H for the beat and a D E up for the run.
Two Enterprises out Ian with Claude and Me with Paul which had to be a match race for the series. At the start Ian got the jump on me but we were both over the line so I got the best start when we were both cleared. We got a good lead because the second boat gets the dirty wind but still with a lead and one lap to go we got mixed up with Stuart and Hywell both match racing in Merlins and then a large motor boat put us the wrong side of the wind and Ian overhauled me and got an overlap. At the last gybe mark for us the wind gusted and there was a bit of an oh dear for us, as Ian had rights and he got away to win the series by 1 point.
Hywell with Lucy Penwarden and Stuart with Nicola in the Merlins also had a very close race for their series. Stuart led for much of it but got caught on the run, taken past the D mark and overtaken for Hywell to win the series by 2 points.
In the GP’s our youth team of Sarah and Hannah at first led the race from John and Sue but were overtaken by the wiley John to win their series. In the Handicap  intrepid James was out again in his Comet racing David in his Solo, who won this series.
Our Frostbite series was sailed in mostly light winds with many from the south and in my experience with only two breezy days this being one of them. It was great fun and I would like to thank my crew Paul for his consistency. Ben did one when Paul was on Llew duty and kept me in it-thanks Ben!
Following the very wet racing was the seasonal song gig, where the punch flowed like the river in flood, it was heart burning good, concocted by the Commodore and dispensed by Brian. Those on the Beer were well served by Philip and Ben, A massive sausage fest followed by mince pies a-plenty supplied by two Reindeer – Mary and Jane I could not possibly comment on who had the red nez! Then to introduce the carols a beautiful solo was angelically delivered by Sophie Penwarden accompanied by Hillary to a packed club. Then followed a considerable drop in vocal delivery by all gathered, stoically conducted by Roger. No wise men this year perhaps just as well, as I have never forgotten John Bell tunelessly rapping it with Nigel! 
One more to go on Boxing Day – the RNLI Trophy. So do come and bring some fare scraps. The end of another cracker of a year at HSC, best remembered, compared with the horror stories here and elsewhere.
Seasons Greetings to all. Phill

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