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Hyde Sails 2021 - Basic LEADERBOARD

Conwy Fife One Design 'A' Series Race 5 at Royal Anglesey Yacht Club

by Mike Hardie 22 May 08:40 PDT 21 May 2022
Conwy Fife One Design 2022 'A' Series race 5 © Ian Bradley

It seemed like a good idea at the time...

Maybe, just maybe, having a gin tasting night on Friday 20th was not such a good idea? It became apparent as we gathered for the day's racing that several (who shall remain nameless) of our number were slightly jaded and not operating at full mental or even physical capacity. With a healthy 4 to 5 SW breeze making its presence felt and a NW tide running, leading to a healthy prevalence of white horses, it has to be said that enthusiasm for racing was less than universal.

Garth our Race Officer decided that with the prevailing conditions it would be prudent to cancel the programmed crews race, but to let the A series race go ahead. As the assembled throng watched the Rowers start their annual Castle to Castle race from Beaumaris to Caernarfon (which, incidentally, Beaumaris won in a time of 2 hours and 25 minutes!), much helpful advice was freely offered to Garth regarding course selection for the programmed Gazelle start. After due consideration, Garth set course 29, Cadnant, Magdalen, Bangor Outfall, B5, B12, finish. With the decision made, the Mobile Race Control and Emergency Catering unit headed for the Gazelle to await the fleets arrival.

As the launch's took us sailors out to our boats, the chop seen from the shore made boarding an interesting and in some cases, gymnastic, task, fortunately we all made it safely, rigged and set off for the Gazelle. The beat to the start line saw everybody receive a bracing and in some cases reviving salt water shower, but it became evident that the water was a lot smoother the nearer we got to Bangor Pier.

With only 6 boats racing, the start was an unusually civilised and quiet event. The beat to Cadnant with the tide was a proper game of snakes and ladders with all finding both at times. 37 (Rhys, Rowan & Helen) rounded first, followed by 35 (Hugo, Bob & Sasha) with 38 (Mike, AKA Captain Birdseye & Steve) 42 (Tim & Mary) 29 (Trigger, G & and she who must be obeyed, Stevie) and finally 24 (Henry, Stuart and another really nice MSOD sailor, who's name escapes me). The run to Magdalen saw different tactics employed, with 37, 35 & 38 heading straight for the pier, 41 heading for the mainland, 29 straight down the middle and 24 heading for the Anglesey shore. As we approached the pier, there was a full and frank exchange of views between 37 & 35, leading to the appearance of a red flag on 35. Whilst all this was occurring, 42 took the chance to close the gap on the leaders, whilst 38 and 29 moved to one side to avoid any unpleasantness!

As spinnakers were dropped for the gybe at the leeward mark, 38, having enjoyed the Mackerel Pate served the previous evening so much (thanks Mary) decide to try their luck and decided to use their spinnaker as a trawl, which slowed them down somewhat and led to much debate between captain and crew as they tried to avoid then shift the blame, eventually, after a robust debrief, they concluded it was an act of God and settled down to retrieving the net, sorry Spinnaker. Meanwhile, at the front of the fleet, 35, 37 and 42 rounded in close company, with 29, 38 and 24 following on.

Your reporter was rather preoccupied with sorting out the spinnaker, or rather telling his crew how to on the beat to Bangor Outfall to take much notice with what was happening ahead, all he can say is that 42 moved into the lead to round first followed by 35, 37 and 29, 38 rounded fifth, with 24 hanging on to the wooden spoon position. 42, 35 and 24 had exemplary spinnaker sets, while 29, 37 and 38 had somewhat less successful attempts, in fact 38 had several attempts as they continue to sort out the mess from the previous run. Eventually, calm descended over the fleet as we ran back to Beaumaris, with 42 and 35 sailing over the banks, 29, 37, 38 and 24 making for the Anglesey shore. As we approached B5, 35 managed to get an overlap on 42 and 38 got past 37, as the leaders rounded, race control shortened course and 35 held on to take their maiden win of the season, with 42 in second place, 20 seconds behind. 29 took the final podium position, with 38, 37 and 24 finishing in that order.

In other news, sadly, Steve was unable to take his tenth win of the season in the MSOD fleet, as nobody wanted to play, so he will have to wait until Wednesday.

Nature notes number 4

Trawling for Mackerel doesn't work!

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