The morning of the Platinum Jubilee Race at PSC was anything but sparkly. There was a cool mizzle driven in on a south easterly breeze, but our sailing secretary, in the finest traditions of our grand Queen, thought stoicism to be the order of the day. Despite whinging from the safety boat crew, we were driven to do three back to back races.
Ten boats arrived at the start line, with no particular sense of strict time keeping or urgency. I have to say, it was just as well, due to the south easterly breeze veering south, causing the course to be re-jigged. The start line for the first race had a severe port bias, which Chris in his Phantom and Tosh in his Laser, ably showed the safety boat crew, who were now anchored and in count down mode. Stacey and Clare in their RS400, Andrew and Jenny, Scorpion, Ron and William, RS Feva and the two club Lasers with Mr and Mrs Rendell demonstrated things are not what they may first appear, all thundering down the start line on starboard and shutting the door. Marcus and Alex, 59er, opted for a safe approach free of the melee, but were soon chasing the RS400, Scorpion and Phantom down the first reach towards the beach marks, followed by the three Lasers. The Feva, sporting a new looking black gennaker, once set looked like they were having real fun. They were followed by Emma in the club Pico, whose nervous smile had turned into an I’m just having fun smile. Throughout the race, the wind continued to veer west, making the course for race two, another complete re-jig. Fortunately, the sky cleared and an increase in the wind made for a day more fitting to grace a state occasion. This race seemed to be a trial for the spinnaker and gennaker boats, as the second reach had turned to a close fetch, teaching young William in the RS Feva an ancient dinghy sailor’s old adage ‘two much sail, too close on wind, is knots and twists and briny swims.’ Race three saw the wind veer further west, but all the talk of stoicism and backbone was wearing thin in the safety boat, where the thought of resetting the course again, became a step too far. We decided to stop chasing the wind and just go with it. Stacey and Clare led the fleet again, with Emma and her smile bringing up the rear. The Phantom and the three Lasers looked to be in close contention, making the most of a broad, then close reach back to the beach marks. Unfortunately, by the last lap, this had turned into a close fetch, making the finish line a beat.
I have to tip my cap to Nigel, Stuart and Ken in the box who somehow made sense of the disparity of handicap boats over three sausage and triangle races. It just proves experience breeds confidence and blinds sheer havoc.
For those of you who have noticed that I haven’t mentioned the tenth boat, as the B14 was hard to focus on, streaking backwards and forwards, out just practising. Sorry Harry and Cieron if you were racing and just went a bit off course.