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Superspars/Harken Solo National Championship at South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club - Day 3

by Will Loy 18 Jul 22:43 PDT 16-19 July 2022
Oliver Davenport led race 3 on day 3 of the Solo Nationals at Abersoch © Will Loy

I awoke at 6 a.m., my Samsung S5 alarm easing me out of a very awkward situation with the police and exited the firm divan, taking a few seconds to pause in front of the waist high air con. It had been another sweaty night in North Wales, how the sheep around here survive is anyone's guess.

Once showered and clothed I fixed a cup of Columbian coffee and trained my sleepy eyes on the motionless view from my Air B+B, crap, no wind then. My heart dropped, not because racing on day 3 was in jeopardy but because the cafe which had served me some excellent breakfasts would be closed today and tomorrow.

I spend 3 hours writing, editing and publishing the day 2 reports before grabbing my kitbag and heading to the club via the local shop to stock up with essential fluids and pasties.

The club house veranda was filled with sailors and officials, the mood was surprisingly sanguine given the flat calm in the bay and the race team were tooled up and seemed ready to launch. Fortunately, my negativity soon changed that notion and they stood down, holding position on one of the benches which frequent the patio while my media ride floated on a nearby mooring. There was some conjecture as to which weather report would be the accurate one, all agreed it was going to be a scorcher and maintaining a body core temperature of 37 degrees would require at least one ice cream per hour.

All the Solos sat obediently with covers protecting their white bits while the competitors cowered under shade like vampires avoiding the sunlight. Only Oliver Turner ventured out into the burning heat of the day, the sun's rays are his friend and this Adonis was clearly in his element. It is not easy seeing someone take over my mantle but at 58, the years have not been kind.

PRO Malcolm Blackburn had raised the AP over 3 which meant a three-hour delay from the prescribed start of 11 o'clock and there were no protesters other than Salcombe's Iain Magregor who professed that a four-hour delay would have allowed him to play a round of golf. On further investigation he meant 9 holes. he is that bad.

The beach was filled with bathers and paddle boarders, scantily clad apart from one idiot who was wearing a shortie. What a wimp I thought before identifying him as Ewan Birkin Walls.

At approximately 3 p.m. racing was canned for the day and this was welcomed unconditionally as there was not a zephyr out at sea.

The fleet re-assembled at the club at 7 p.m. for the annual A.G.M. and this was conducted surprisingly flawlessly by President Patrick Burns, Honourable Secretary Graham Cranford Smith and Vice President Guy Mayger. There was much applause and support from those present towards the NSCA Committee and the lucky ones who have escaped, Graham Wilson, Chris Brown and Nick Hornsby to name just three. The one rule change to allow a flattener on the boom to reduce the leech length when it is windy was accepted after Chief Measurer John Woodward's explanation that all fittings must be on the boom, so not adjustable from the cockpit. It is hoped this change will allow sailors less flexible/experienced to still sail safely in stronger winds without getting their heads knocked off. A full explanation will be available in time in another report.

Today was P&B race day so unfortunate that there were no races but this did not stop the team from drawing out some very lucky winners of P&B goodies. Ian 'Hoppy' Hopwood won the superb P&B kitbag which is the only thing he will win this week so he was chuffed while other lucky winners collected rudder bags and mast covers. There are still P&B bottles to be handed out so keep attending guys and girls.

Huge thanks to P&B and to Oliver Davenport who is a great ambassador for their brand and a handy sailor. Had this been a windy event Oliver would surely have had a good chance.

Finally, there were two winners of the Wally of the Day jackets, which, incidentally are actually part of Chris Brown's Saturday night wardrobe and Guy Mayger was presented for the first after leaving the prize-giving details on his other shorts. The second went to Alexander Alcock who thought something must be wrong with his mast set-up after analysing the photos I took of him on day 2. After closer inspection he realised he had rigged the forestay in the shroud position, went great on port though.

I am writing this report on Monday evening, my forearms stuck to the plastic protective table cover and a cold sweat seeps into the back of my shirt collar. There is no wind, no movement and only hope for tomorrow.

Results can be found on the SCYC website here...

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