Boxing Day started as a nice sunny day but no wind and I wondered if I would have to even get the rescue boat out. I arrived at the clubhouse lit the fire, turned on the water and unlocked the boat park! even if people did not sail they would still want to check out their boats. Then the wind started to fill in, a little. Miles Thomas arrived and uncovered his boat, and knowing that he can sail when there is no wind I decided to get the rescue boat out, just in case.
As the morning wore on the breeze built slightly and at half eleven, John Styles and I went out to set a course and move buoys to a more favourable position. By the time we got back to the clubhouse all the boats were on the water apart from Peter Williams who was sailing but not racing. We raced out to Bay to start the race which we managed to do right on 12 o’clock. The breeze by this time had a few tiny gusts with 30 degree wind shifts.
Nick Blore was first over the line unfortunately about 5 seconds too early and we had to call him back. Matt Gilbert led down to ‘Y’ closely followed by Miles Thomas with Rob Sears in third place. They kept these positions around ‘C’ and ‘Z’. The next mark was ‘X’ but Matt headed for ‘B’ and Miles followed him. Nick by this time had got past Rob, who was struggling with a broken tiller extension. Just before Matt and Miles got to ‘B’ they noticed that Nick and Rob were heading for the correct Mark ‘X’ and altered course immediately.
They kept this order for four laps and as the wind rose it became too much for Rob and he was forced to retire, closely followed by Matt and then by Peter who although not racing had been following the course. I never did find out why Matt retired, I suspect as the wind had risen to about 11mph it had become too much for a delicate sailor like him.
This left only two to complete the six laps and just shortly after leaving the jetty, heading for ‘B’ to finish the race the rain started. In the pouring rain Nick was first to finish with Miles not that far behind. Congratulations to Nick on winning the Christmas Cracker cup, the down side of which is that you have to get your name engraved on it.
Quite an eventful, and I think enjoyable, mornings racing with probably the largest fleet that we have had out on Boxing Day for many a year. I just wish that I had been sailing.
I should like to object to two libellous allegations:a) that I was ever in the lead andb) that I lead Miles off erroneously to Bay.This is clearly a case of mistaken identity, in both respects the ‘perpetrator’ was Mr R Sears – expert sailor, but with no sense of direction.For my part I languished in a very Christmassy last place, gifting others the chance of winning a nice trophy, until the ‘thrill’ of sailing in damn all wind became too much for me and I headed for home, and then laughed my head off as the remaining competitors sat, barely moving, in the middle of the Mere with the rain pouring down!Best wishes to everyone for the New Year.