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Home / Sail Chat / Sail Chat 2023 / Sail Chat 29th October 2023
Home / Sail Chat / Sail Chat 2023 / Sail Chat 29th October 2023

Sail Chat 29th October 2023

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The first Frostbite

Hope springs eternal. About 24 hours before our start time the forecasters were betting the farm there was going to be 10mph wind and 30mph gusts. And sunny spells. And wouldn't it be nice to go sailing? With a 3 mph stream and the wind in the WSW. Instead like sailing in a cathedral of motionless grey clouds, you could have lit 40 candles, there was so little wind relative to what we needed, to overcome the relentless torrent.

But since we were promised wind, those who like a challenge i.e. an Enterprise (Ian and Ben) three Comets ( George Bell, James Peel, Brian Tweedie Smith) and a Solo leapt off the end of the Pontoon into the moving water. This was an act of desperate wishful thinking. So while the fleet tried in vain to reach the starting line, David whose sail fell down in prep (and got a postponement), launched dead last and as he hadn't drifted as far as the others from the line, crossed it first. By then his competitors were trying to kedge where they might, whereas the veteran George knew to get alongside Benn 1 and wait.

From then on, it was a game of who could get to windward of whom, because if you did, your opponent just stopped and went backwards. And nobody could luff or tack which would bring you broadside buying you a ticket to Molesey Lock. The exception was George who found a lane on the Mddx. bank and snuck up to a place he could hope to round the E mark from (a hefty distance by the way). This he achieved after three or four attempts coming alongside the mark. Like a gentleman he declined to save 5 minutes by bumping the mark, and incur a 'pirouette' 360 . Good karma because after he eventually got round E he shot down to H and after a monumental effort made the finishing line. The rest of us had retired by then except Ian and Ben who carried on. Not that they made it, but it was an example of the Nelson Spirit so dear to HSC, to carry on for another 20 minutes in the rain before yielding to the inevitable.
Result? George in Comet 'Merlin' 1st. Everybody else DNF.

In the light of the foregoing you can imagine how welcome the sausage rolls, cheese , quiche etc was. And cakes no doubt. Thanks to Claude and Sue Morley for that.
Thanks go to the Timekeepers Lucy York and Chris Bell. Thanks to Phil McHardy on bar. Finally thanks to Richard Page DO and Philip Dalby ADO .


Last updated 9:57am on 14 July 2024

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