Sixteen National 12 - Vintage and 4-plank and Admirals Cup boats - arrived at the Trent Valley Sailing Club. Not much wind but it wasn’t raining! ith such a line up for the start there were two flights, with the 4-plank and AC boats going first.
It was a Saturday, known to be tricky with the River Trent being awash with narrowboats and cruisers all out on the first day of their week’s hire! Many thanks to Roger Britton for his lead and clear guidance to these novices. After a short delay waiting for the sea-breeze, we started our first race. All I can say is we had a great start!
Ali Britton in his mother’s boat got to the front and stayed there in the 4-plank and AC flight. The rest of us sailed admirably and Howard Chadwick took three laps to get past us and won the vintage race. Brian Kitching had spent too much time gossiping with his crew for the day at the briefing and sailed in the wrong fleet!
The second race went much the same way, but with much knitting of brows by the helms to try to get the best out of the miniscule wind. Although by now all were keen to get back as lunch was promised. Let’s face it, this is TVSC and the races are timed to fit with meal times.
After a fab lunch, we all went out again. Apparently there was a significant body of opinion from the fleet to see the whole of our course and the Keith Marshall the Race Officer tried to fulfil that yearning by extending the top mark to way past the 'doldrums'.
Initially there was sufficient wind, but as the second flight caught up with the first, there was much concerned conversation on the water that this might not have been a bright idea. No-one owned up to wanting to see the whole of the TVSC course! Vince Phillips played it cool with his extreme light-weight crew and somehow chose to sail his race with the first flight.
The rest of us from the second flight aimed for the Scout hut, again,.... and.. again... and .... again. Yes, it really took 4 goes to work our way past. Howard Chadwick got there first, then went backwards a bit, came up the inside on the bank, got to the front ... and then went backwards again.... Several of us did the same thing, far too many times to call it fun.
The community song singing did not help! There was much laughing and ribaldry; it’s a good job we are such a friendly bunch in the Vintage fleet!
But who does have right of way when going backwards - we had plenty of time to debate the whole issue.
Anyway, to cut a very long story short, some us eventually found the rearranged top mark, went round it and were very grateful for the shortened course flag.'
But as always with TVSC the story is more than that.
Quotes of the day:-
'This is why I don’t sail here anymore'
'STARBOARD, your going backwards and I’m going forwards, does that count we are still starboard?'
'Paul’s got his centreboard stuck in the mud to stop him going backwards' (IT WAS A LIE!)
'Again, many thanks for all who turned up, it was a really great day. Next year I will try to book some wind, but looking on the bright side – the Trent was 3 feet higher a week ago and running an awful lot faster!' National 12 - Vintage
1st 2531 Vince & Alexander Phillips Yorkshire Ouse Whisper 7
2nd 2266 Howard Chadwick & Helen Nicholson A Starfish
3rd 2487 Paul Turner & Christine Marshall Trent Valley China Doll National 12 - 4 Plank & Admirals Cup
1st 4plank 2957 John & Mark Sears, Notts County Pipedream
2nd 1st AC 3192 Alley Britton & Jos Richardson Trent Valley Tigress
3rd 3107 Ian & Louis Norman Trent Valley Tigress