Yey I went sailing! So it feels soo too long since I was sailing, after the dissapointing "mis-start" to the season of the Rugby&Daventry Open last month, getting made redundant and then a hectic few weeks of Birthdays for my family it was nice to suddenly get the opportunity to sail for myself.
Actually it was a freakin' fantastic Easter Monday... woke up, walked the dog... Family and I went to Draycote... sun shone, wind blew pleasantly (F2-F3)...
It started as an opportunity to sail with my kids, but my dad was bummed at his performance on the Sunday races so he lent me his boat :-)
So me and my youngest went off onto the water first... wan't very many minutes until he was grinning from ear to ear as we raced across the reservoir, him fishing for trout with the painter with his legs wrapped round the mast on the foredeck of my dads Solo... then he did some helming, some leaning out and had some more fishing with the end of the mainsheet out the stern of the boat... 40 mins later and some real nice quality father-son time on the water we headed in for my eldests turn... So back out again, some dark clouds managed to bring some decent gusts across the lake so we did soem nice planing (just) and he soon got back into the groove of helming the boat (damned impressive), but tacking and gybing didn't really happen, but hey its only April we've got another 6 months to perfect things and really have some fun!
So after another 30-40 mins of great sailing and fun we came in, grabbed some lunch (thanks Claire) and went off to do the Easter Monday Severn Trent Water Board pursuit race... There was about 45 boats and 12 Solo's in the mix, the breeze was light but probably not light enough for the Solo's to be in the chocolates... so with my dad's brand new Edge sail on for the first time, I set out for the start line, eager to get back into the sailing groove and see whether I could prove myself against the old-hands of the fleet (the Mikes) and the new-boyz (Norm, Greg etc)... Had a good start but didn't get enough boat-speed and wasn't in the groove enough to point high and sail fast so I soon ended up on a one-sided beat in dirty air.. freed off a bit and got into a half decent position, enjoying myself being on the water... first beat was a long bugger from the damn across to 'C' on the far side of the reservoir... by the time we got there I was in about 6th place, but knew I had the speed and brains to eek my way up the fleet a few more notches before the 90min race was over... downwind speed again didn't let me down and I managed to roll one boat on the way down the first leg, with the likes of Jon and Rich Byne chasing me a little too hard and Mike P using his years of Solo expeience against me. (damn he's quick when he wants to be!) So the rest of the race was pretty good, nice close sailing, no real chance of any of the Solo's being in the main prizes...
By the end of the race I'd managed to drag my arse upto 4th place, right behind Norm... or Dr.Norman Bird as he is now, used to be my crew in 420's (he split my head open just on my eyebrow at the Spa regatta in belgium with the spinnaker pole..thnxs!), he's sailed alsorts an dis now at that pointy end of 505's when he's not Solo'ing... Anyway, got upto Norm but he's a vicious bugger and there was no way I was gonna get past him downwinf to windward... i made a few tries at diving to leeward but there just wasnt the wind or waves to pull it off... up the last main beat I did get past him on a good lift, but when I tacked back about 10 boatlengths to windward the wind died on me, he stayed in pressure and worked the boat up in front of me... damn.. make 10 boatslengths, loose 10 boatslengths don't ya just love sailing!
So that was it.. a great sail, no stress, no hassle, just good close fleet racing... ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
So, finished the pursuit in 13th place, 4th Solo... I was happy, my kids were happy and hopefully Claire was happy too.... Happy Easter!
It is sooo good to be back... now I definately think I need to buy a boat to sail locally... I also need someone to offer me a boat and crew to do some Ent events in June and August...pleaze?
Right I need to go to bed now... I've got an interview in London in 12 hours time!
sailing boat soulsailor