This season, which I think was eagerly anticipated by everyone, seems to be sliding by all too quickly. Wednesday evenings are reduced to ale and snooker now, and Sundays are favouring back to back racing. The season has been a mixed bag,, with both light variable winds, affording Pimms and canapes on the centre thwart of the Kestrel and some really strong blows, causing crew and helm to hang like rag dolls with ankles trapped, whilst Kessey threatens to shake herself apart. Last Sunday was one of the latter. Jeremy H cowed us, making us examine our timid hearts; keeping this politically correct, he accused us of being padded foot rests. Sadly, only five boats crossed an unusually biased start line in what was a fairly brisk WNW breeze. Unfortunately the sunshine, which had tempted us out, clouded over and the towering cumulus clouds brought some mast-shaking squalls. Paddy and Ken teamed up to give Jeremy and Suzanne competition in their Tasars, leaving Ron and William in the Pico, Paul and Kelvin in their Scorpion and us to bring up the rear. It was pretty clear, after we saw most of the underside of the boat, that it was survival tactics for us. Ron and William seemed to be coping well, although it did look like a pretty wet ride for them. William appeared quite unphased to be sailing in twenty-five knot winds. It’s lovely to be able to see such faith and bravery; I reckon he is the next Francis Chichester in the making. Jan and I were lucky to sail into a lull at the gybe mark and careered off downwind, half expecting the kite to split in two. Not so lucky, the Scorpion, which approached the gybe mark in a hell of squall, causing Jan and I to look back with deep concern and sympathy as they headed off towards Black Head. Sadly, it was not Paul and Kelvin’s day, having later to capsize in order to do a rig repair. The two Tasars were somewhere in the distance, and despite the conditions, seemed to be having a real tussle, resulting in a victory for Paddy and Ken, and second place for Jeremy, Suzanne and Bacchus. I shall round off with thanks to Marcus and Alex, for manning the rescue boat, although we would have enjoyed the entertainment of their 49er in full flight.
Also, a big thanks to Nigel in the box and Steve W in the galley.