Solo 3 Race Day

Solo 3 race day Sun 15th Nov

For those of you who did not sail last Sun you missed a treat. I met someone during our summer sail to Scotland who said he spent the summer dodging weather forecasts! The point being the best way to find out if the conditions are sailable is to turn up and see because watching the BBC’s 5-day forecasts unfold can be an off-putting process. So it turned out for the 6 Solo sailors last Sunday who enjoyed great racing in conditions that did not suit me for a change.

Rick was our ARO so had an excuse not to sail and did a great job setting the course whilst waiting for Mark Sherwood, our substitute PRO to arrive. Michael Wilde having to go into hospital at the last minute for an op on his knee that he twisted sailing so he also had an excuse. Peter May turned up, as is his habit when it’s breezy, but fortunately did not get in the way of the Solos, as is also his habit.

It was a bit breezier than the previous Sunday, when we had a good turnout with intermittent planning, but the gusts were manageable and the beats a test of speed and endurance. Andy Hyland thought it would be his conditions, which was good since his company “Why Boats” sponsored the day, and it nearly was but Ben Cooper showed the way off the pin end of the line and up beats. He also showed the way to capsize down the run in a noisy spectacular fashion. Tim was up there in all the races and went off to collect his new boat this week so hopefully we will see Paul Naser sailing in Tim’s boat. Duncan Peace sailed for the 2nd Sunday in a row and caught the pack up nicely after a few capsize drills, leaving me behind. But a special mention to John, who sailed the 1st race then sensibly watched the remainder.

After a welcome cup of coffee ashore, where the wretched machine wanted to test our pound coins several times before accepting them as legal tender, it was back out for the 3rd race with an extended 2nd beat past the back of the Island. Again it was tight at the front especially when Ben discovered he needed a navigator but having swopped to my Boatyard at Beer boat he was soon back in front, leaving me dropping back in his Solo, proving that it was really the sailor that mattered.

Then back to the Clubhouse to a late lunch of Jackie’s lamb hotpot; a lovely social affair with a pint on “Why Boats”, including one for John Clarke’s novice trainees who had paid for an all-day sailing lesson and stayed out there all day. During the discussion of what boats we had previously owned and when we joined the class we discovered that John is aged 82 and has sailed Solos for over 40 years and he remembered beating Andy at the Nationals many years previously. We also discovered that Ben’s dad still sails dinghies but leaves his beloved Solo to Ben to sail but perhaps we could encourage his dad out for a guest appearance? I then left to drive to Cornwall to buy a ¼ Tonner but that’s a different story.

Thanks to the race officer and safety crew who supported us for the extra race and to Jackie who came in especially after her morning ride. All enjoyed the event and with the interest beforehand it seems sensible to schedule something similar again. Not the Open or the Club Championships but, as Paul Irons put it, a Closed Open. The Sailing Committee is finalising next year’s programme so unless there is a different swell of opinion I will try to get something scheduled for October.

Ian Campbell, 19/11/2015

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