[Actually thi is now January 2005... I'm crap,. I'm sorry... I'm back now I think...]
True to form, despite moderate forecasts, Draycote once again proved to be among the breeziest events of the year, two days of not too cold weather, but a whole stack of breeze! Just under 30 Ents turned up for what is always an awesome yacht, and they weren't dissapointed, well those that managed to stay in one piece...
So, Johnny & Alex won the event, cleaning up in most of the races, Banks Bro's were 2nd, Jeremy & Salty 3rd, Pete & Alicia 4th, we were 5th.
So saturday night me, James, Claire and Kathryn (spectator for the weekend) went to the Dun Cow for a meal and booze, then back to the club to re-join those hardy buggers that stayed put at the club... several (Soulsailor several) beers were drunk, Salty and Jeremy went to scare the Rugby locals with their "unique" brand of drinking, dancing and tarting, parked the van in some obscure car-park and turned up safe and sound, just, on Sunday morning....
So, we got on with the usual drinking and discussion, we even ended up with some frank discussions... arguments and expression of opinions regarding whether SoulSailor (the Racing Association) was a good idea or not... some peope were quite vocal about is being a bad thing... not cool.. Ali Morrish did a "James" and forgot her sleeping bag, buit we wont mention that 'cus she's our Rear Commodore...
So, Sunday dawned, probably slightly breezier with the fantastic prospect of the breeze getting up and 3 races bac-2-piggin-back to do that morning, I wish I hadn't drunk quite as much... So bacon sarnie downed with coffee and out we went... results in the first 2 races were ok, racing was good, wet and damned fun... race 3 and it bleedin howled! the 2nd reach on the triangle was absolutely perfect, jib-stick out, arse over the white wet stuff and bugger-me we flew off towards the dam at an alarming rate! The runs were interesdting too, waiting for the right time to pop that gybe in was interesting to say the least! Then there was the very last reach the leading 3 boats went splat at the gybe mark, putting us into 3rd and with the breeze blowing even that fattest dogs-off-chains, we bleedin screamed down the reach, not convinced there was much of the Ent in the water, but it was THE most exhilerating reach I think I've ever had in the Ent... bring it on... this is what sailing is really really about!!!
So, we once again braved Birmingham to do the penultimate Double-Chine event at Brookvale & Sparkhill SC. Again, the pressure was on, if we won this event and the next (Redditch) we could win the double-chine... all to play for!
So 6 or 7 hardy sailors turned up to contest the event, for once the wind was coming from a decent direction and was fairly constant (first time ever). After a short delay race 1 started, after a fantastic port end start we lead the fleet away, without being challenged we had won the 1st race (small delay i.e Youngy telling od not to start race when martin was at the other end of the lake after being 2nd boat on the water!?).
After lunch lovingly prepared by Ali, and a spot of rat catching dont ask! we went out for race 2, wise to our port end tatics we had to battle our way to the front, a hearty battle with Martin was on til the finish which we got and set up an exciting last event at redditch.
Race 3 with us over the line we let Mike Cossey of the hook to go on and win the race, which made him 2nd overall, Youngy had a last beat battle with Martin to take 3rd.
2nd. Mike & Christine
3rd. martin & Laurence
4th. Paul & Ali
So last main event of the year, we had to win the event to win the Double Chine series (just like 2002)
As this is being written in January.. I can only just remeber thins...soz..
Race 1... Johnny leads for most of race, were in 2nd... trying everything to get past him... we end up in a tacking duel on the penultimate lap... really enjoyed that... things got V close, then VVVV close.. Johhny tacked into us..
Race 2 - We have "issues" on the start line.. Johnny gets away again.. we cant catch him... 1 all well done johnny, all to play for - last race, last event etc etc etc... tension, just a tad....
Lunch - after a decent lunch I then had to spend time in a protest.. crap.. it was all a bit rushed and disorganised, culminating in it being thrown out [right choice]... on we go..
Race 3, bugger all wind, but a stack of rain, only just raceable (maybe).. good start in the lead, Johnny chasing (drifting)... 3/4 way through Johnny retires, race gets shortened, we win...
Way-Hay... Win Open Win Midland Areas circuit :-) happy chaps me and James - thanks James...
Midlands AGM Race:
This event is really hazy... I crewed (not very well), James helmed (better than I crewed)... we started about 4-5 mins behind the first boat we overtook, 1 or 2 boats, had a laugh, it was good, then had some food, very nice then the AGM, not, bad..then went home... end of season good night....