Wednesday Night Early Bird 1, Race Report -28 March 2018
Published 14:37 on 29 Mar 2018
Hamble River Sailing Club
Wednesday Night Early Bird 1, 28 March 2018
That hardened group of Early Bird Race Officers, Dellar, Gardner and Pountain, edged the committee boat Obsession out of the river at 17.15 hours wondering, as usual, if anyone was going to join them this early in the season. On board they were accompanied by John Noe, as La Nef 1V was still having her bottom done at Driver's Wharf and XOD Captain Steve Green. As it turned out they needn't have worried as 14 yachts gradually appeared to take part in the proceedings.
It was a sunny if chilly evening, with the breeze just North of West, 12 -15 knots, with some gusts forecast to be a little stronger. There were three hours of a neap flood still to go, so as usual on an evening race, the options were limited. A quick thrash around three or four buoys, followed by a reach up the river to the club line was decided upon. The length of thrashing was quickly determined by the speed of class and all was ready. Flag Yankee was displayed on the committee boat, partly because of the forecast stronger gusts and very cold water, but also to remind the fleet that they should have life jackets on board.
Class 3 and the XOD's started together. I have yet to hear a Cuckoo sing this season but I have seen three XOD's already, which must be some sort of a record! Andy Hamlett, in Satu, led everybody over the line and on the way to Rigit UK Rigging, which, for those of you still to look at a Solent Chart this year is the new sponsor of 4C. Amongst the XOD's was a "new" boat, Little X sailed by Gary Rossall. This XOD has arrived from foreign shores, Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight.
Classes 2 and 1 slowly girded their loins to go next. Once again there were newcomers of one sort or another. M'Enfin?!, that nippy Corby 25 of Bertrand Malas and Sophie Chudziak, had been dragged kicking and screaming up from Class 2 to play with the big boys. Time would tell who was right. Old members, Mike and Susie Yates brought their beautiful blue liveried J109, Jago, out to play and new member Mathew Girling came out double handed in the Sigma 33, Trickster. Jack Neale and Olly Love, also two handed, came out in J70 GBR 101. Once again the first mark was Rigit UK Rigging.
Having seen everyone safely away, the Race Team headed for the club line to set up for the finish and wait. In time honoured fashion the wind seemed to drop away and darkness began to close in. Racked with concern, there was nothing for the Race Officers to do but have a pint of 6X. This of course did the trick and bang on cue the first XOD crept into view round the bend off Hamble Point Marina.
First home was XOD, It, sailed by John Butt who has seen more Wednesday nights than most but can still win a race. Andy Hamlett in Satu was second, followed very closely by Little X not concerned by entering a strange port and showing good closing speed. Mike James brought Forethought home to take Class 3. Having checked Life Jackets, now it became Navigation Lights that were the requirement. According to one or two, they were under power, and others felt two sets, mast head and bow and stern were necessary. I'm sure by the end of April the correct switches will have been identified.
M'Enfin?! took the bullet in Class 1, pushing new Club Commodore Steph Merry, Midnight Cowboy, into second place. I'm not convinced that was the correct thing to do to a new Commodore, but at least they won't be able to complain about being promoted to Class 1 for a week! Neale and Love came home in 3 rd in J70, 101. Light, Sigma 38, Rob Denning was 4th not helped by a very tardy start, something to do with not hearing or seeing that 1 & 2 were going at the same time. Jago was spotted backing into her berth at Hamble Point Marina without crossing the line. Susie Yates later declaring that the course read was not loud enough. I wonder if turning up that little knob on the VHF will help Susie?
Trickster, Mathew Girling, appeared to give the new Handicap Committee its first challenge by winning Class 2, two handed, from Vlad the Impala, Peter Dessent. Uproar, Scott, Akhurst and Palmer came in third.
The plan was to finish racing by 20.00 hours and Immediate Past Commodore, Ken Munroe, brought Sigma 33, Dino Volante home with three minutes to spare. Time for another 6X.
Last updated 13:04 on 28 March 2019