So first races of the new year... wicked!
160 boats rocked up to Northampton SC on Saturday morning for the annual "freeze-yer-nadgers-off" race!
So, I got there, registed, gave my cash for charity (Asthma research) and found James, new seasons welcomes and hello's to Salty, Anne, Alan, Steve, Chessie etc etc Soooo good to see you all again..
There was a light breeze, some sunshine and a lot of happy sailing faces... no time for coffee or bacon/sausage sarnies which was not a good start, but we were sailing in the plastic tub (23056) which was gonna be good, miss the feeling of plastic on my arse!
So went to the briefing.. usual stuff... we were first start, 60 double-handers (non-asymetrics), one start line.. nice! We had an OK start, very quickly buried by FF15's, fireballs and lots of other bigger boats... hey ho such is the joys of pursuit races! So on with the proper race which was pretty much try to do well in the pursuit but make sure you finish hi up the Ent class :-)
So an average start, average to piss-poor first bit of the race, then we got into a bit of a groove, the race was only about 45 mins, by the last long downwind leg we had managed to crawl our sorry arses upto Steve and Anne, the leader (of the Ents) was well away... rounded the windward mark, Steve and Anne went high with a Lark (crewed by Mr.Haighton) we went fast and really low and overtook the both of them... ahhh that's better...
So back in for lunch while the asymetrics had a play, long queue for the pastie and cup of tea, plenty of time to catch up with everyone which was cool, then back out for the second and final race.
So rocked up at the start line, had a sail around, relaxed, checked out the course, checked out the breeze and the line bias... countdown started, re-checked bias, got vaguely into position, lots of boats (60) start stacking up, we pick a spot about 10 boat lengths down for the committee boat, gaps are starting to disappear, a fireball to windward has left an Ent-sized gap to leeward (N12 is stalled and can't move into the gap) so I slot us into the start-gap Fireball helm&crew go nuts "no room" and other such crap... we get close, fireball drift DOWN onto us (they're not that in control) Fireball geezer grabs our shrouds and tries to push forward off us... so I grab his shrouds and do the same.. he appears to be unhappy, says some words I don't understand, I tell him, well, I tell him some things... managed to get a good push to break us apart, we start up the beat, he tacks onto port (still gesticulating and communicating using short words and profanities!) and then he gets called (and hit) on Port by Anne (thnxs Anne)... so an eventful start, we have a good 1st beat, can't remember if we were 1st Ent or not, we certainly were at some point, but Brian Garrison AGAIN got into the lead Grrrrr, still a good race, some close sailing, not light enough for us to have a chance at doing well overall and not windy enough for some real fun, but certainly enough to blow the cobwebs out and have some tactical games, which was cool..
So we ended up 39th overall, Brian&Tim were 28th and Steve, Martin and Anne 46th, 47th and 48th respectively.
So boat away, shower, watch some grandad doing doughnuts in his car on a muddy boat-park and then into the bar for a pint and more socialising before heading off home down the amazingly boring A14!
Congrats to everyone who took part and helped raise money for the Asthma UK charity.