Skandia Team GBR

Monday, May 01, 2006

Bewl Valley - Close Thingz...

OK so the plan was to post yesterday and be really fresh, but hey I'm a day late that aint too bad; so here the run-down of the great the good the results the arguments and the social stuff for the 1st Enterprise National series event of 2006..

You can find even more pictures of the event @ my Flickr site, please have a look and enjoy!

So me and James headed south around 9am on Saturday, trafic for most of the way was fine until we got right down near Bewl, didn't see one Enterprise (or any other type of boat) until we hit the short traffic jam.. it was Johnny and Youngy (with Jules and Alex) double stacking in front of us... at least there'd be 3 boats there minimum! On arrival the view wasn't great the breeze was lacking it wasn't really warm and what breeze there was seemed really "streaky" i.e. the water from my first view looked like a whole series of f lanes of breeze, no breeze... this was gonna be interesting! So most people where there, a lot were rigged and now chilling so we chucked the boat off the trailor, got her rigged and got registered at the club while James got the bacon sarnies and coffee ordered... It was good to see everyone again and there was still wind and the sun had come out enuff for me to a) not feel a prat in my Reef flops and b) be bright enuff for my sunnies...

So we went sailing, the plan was for the 26 Ents to do 3 races today, a little socialising saturday night and then 2 races Sunday morning, lunch, pruzegiving and home.. not a a bad plan and it nearly worked!

The racing started pretty much on time (according to the website but not the paper docs!) wind was probably a F2 and the breeze did not know the meaning of steady in either strength or direction.. those tracks of breeze I saw earlier were ever present and included big shifts etc.. this was not gonna be a pleasant sail...

Race 1.
So we got a good start, it was all clear and just before a late entry hot-shot appeared on the water Chimp (Paul Hobson) things were gonna be good competiti0on wise with around 6 boats with the know-how to be in the chocolates... so decent start, good first beat and a great shift at the top end and we were up there well in the chocolates.. we held 2nd for the rest of the lap at least but the rest of the race was fairly painful and I won't go into much detail.. we sailed OK, our old wooden boat and new-ish sails seemed to be working well together, tactics were fine but the damn shift were tricky... and I kept getting on the wrong side of shifts...seemed like I was probably (in hind sight) tacking too early, should have dug deeper into the header before tacking.. we were also unlucky with people like Steve (Graham) and Jonny getting into lanes of breeze that in that race I could only dream of! Still by the end of the hour or so we were 6th, which although not cool, was OK..just... Paul Hobson got the bullet, Mr.Honnor 2nd and Steve 3rd...

Race 2
So we got quickly back off onto the next race, breeze was no better at all, but we were determined to make better use of the shifts, keep my head and get and stay up the top end of the fleet.. Again we had quite a good start, the shifts were kinder at time and then cruel again (but it was the same for most people)... we had an OK race, we were fed up and pulled a 5th in which was OK and at least we were getting better... and we were now V psyched for the last race of the day....which then didint happen 'cus the breeze went proper in... boats to bed showered tent up and hit the bar...

Evening All
So it was to be an eve of fun, the first proper UK social for 2006 and there were 52 brain-knackered sailors waiting for some fun... a few slackers went off to the local pub, but us "proper sailors" stayed and supported the club..we had a great pig-roast (vegetarian alternative was available!), and the alcohol started to flow; it was a good night noone screwed up noone embarrassed themselves so all was cool; we were joined by a live band later who played some good tunes afew of us did a bit of dancing and a whole load of singing; I tested my camera's waterproof properties by taking photo's from the inside of various full pint glasses with some bizzare results (check out Flickr) and towards the end of an alcohol soaked evening yours truly even ended up on stage singing with the band (badly) on their invitation! I (and others that stole my camera) got some video footage of the night..most of its pretty dark but I'll mash it together and put it up on the site sometime really soon!

So the advertising and all communications about the event were that the bar shuts at 12am.. This clarification was mainly due to the last time we all trecked down to this club they shut the bar at 9pm which is no bloody good to a load of Ent sailors campoing in the field near by and too drunk to drive to the village pub to continue socialising; so knowing that they were gonna look after us in the bar-stakes we came along; things were looking good until 11pm..the bar shut...arrrrgggghhh I managed to get the bar-woman to serve a last round to me at about 11:10pm and so while we were settling down, slowly drinking our last pints the grumpy-bar-man-geezer started trying to kick us out at 11:20.. in a party of around 10 people a fair few of us had pretty full glasses and anyway the bar was meant to stay open till 12am that plus say 10-15 mins supping up time meant he was an hour early at least with his get-out-of-my-bar tactics...we complained, he got shirty, we got shirty, he gave us plastic glasses..just what you want for a whiskey..put it in a plastic bloody pint glass..thanks... so more complaints, we gathe rour things reluctantly and go... a few of us; James, me, Steve and kathryn went back to the P&B van to eat crisps listen to some tunes and generally wind down the evening which was reall good and then off we all went to our tents to rest easy in the cold damp uneven field..I'd forgotton a pillow and I still havent bought myself something soft to lie on....night night...Zzzzzz

Mornin' Darling
So morning came, with shivvers, some rain and still no bloody wind... after shaking the cobwebs from my brain I stumbled down the club to "lighten the load" before breakfast and more sailing.. I got "acosted" on the stairs that the (previously mentioned) grumpy-bar-steward was "upset" and wanted an appology.. not sure what for, we didnt hit him, call him names or threaten to insert a jib-stick up his bar-shutters... nope, no appology is gonna be forthcoming from us for stating the facts and wanting what we had been promised.. anyway...

Breakfast of coffee and sausage and egg baps (bacon for james) was consumed, we chilled whilst the others rushed around us, more coffee (tea for Jonny) and went sailing...still no sign of any decent breeze and lots of evidence of shifts on the way out to the start!!

Race 3 (Sunday morning)
OK I'm tired now (and I was hungover then).. so this is gonna be short... this race went of fOK again..we had a good start (3 in a row..weird!) Jonny won the race, we managed 3nd and Ann Jackson was sandwiched between us (nice for her?) and Steve just behind..again fairly consistant with who was where and I'm starting to think that the end result may be a little close!

Race 4
The winds still shifty, the sun is warm when its out but bloody cold when its in (I hate April).. got off the line OK, managed to get 2nd place Martin Honnor got a 1st this time...Ok so thats 4 different race winners!

Race 5
Ok so now things were very close.. Ann had it pretty much in the bag but 2nd and 3rd (and later I found 4th as well) places were very much up for grabs with Anne, Paul, Martin and jonny all winning a race, we were thinking we were lying around 4t place and were happy with that, but also new that a race win for us would get the mathematicions thinking a bit :-)

OK so the race went well, the breeze was HORRIBLE... we were in 2nd place for most if not all the race but the pressure was on with the beats turning into runs, then reaches then no wind the wind filling in from a bizzare angle and wow that made me sweat.. I really wanted to hold onto 2nd and try to claw back to striking distance of Ann.. alas, 2nd we did, but couldnt get Ann.. it was a good race and we were happy, the old wooden boat had done us proud, we hadnt argued, the tactics and boat speed were pretty good and even the boat handling was fine...BTW noticed we seemed to sail the wooden boat a lot drier than than the plastic one..anyone else noticed that??

OK so boat away, tent away, lunch (sausage and onion bagette - healthy!) more cups of tea and the prize giving.. took some photo's but they didint come out (sorry Ann) helped put Jon & Youngys boat on the double stacker, fond farewells to our friends and comrades..see you all @ Rudyard in two weeks time and then away off into the sunset with James... home to the family and sleep...!

1st Ann and Alan
2nd Martin and Simon
3rd Jonny and Alex
4th Ant and James
5th Paul and Alicia
6th Steve and Kathryn

It was a good event, only one minor hiccup and everyone seemed to have a top time, thanks for everyone for a great wekend and se you all soon..

1 comment:

Tillerman said...

Great story. Must have been one hell of a party to inspire you to take photos from inside your glass of beer - hope you didn't spill any.