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Ocean Elements 2016

Hamble River Sailing Club Early Bird Wednesday Series - Day 3

by Mike Dellar 13 Apr 15:14 BST 12 April 2017

For the second week running, we had a 10 – 12 knot breeze from the north west, but no fears of it disappearing before dusk; and with LWS at 1830, the eternal problem of setting a course around the precious few buoys with sufficient depth of water.

The conditions had tempted several owners out from winter hibernation, as the fleet swelled to 18 boats! (I have known Early Birds where no-one turned out!) Many of these debutants took the opportunity to do a party turn – Dino Volante's extensive winter refit clearly didn't stretch to an outhaul shackle, as their main was seen at half-mast during the pre-start; resulting in a very leisurely start. At the opposite end of the scale, Starfall was so eager to get going that he was the only boat to be OCS during the evening – so near, yet so far. Cheeky Monkey's start was ambitious, as he approached the committee boat on port, quickly regretted it, failed to tack, but succeeded in ducking the entire fleet. Meanwhile Barney Smith's recent sabbatical at the Royal College of Carpentry in Lyme Regis, has certainly done his boat speed a power of good.

A series of windward/leeward loops between Hamble Point, Bald Head, Coronation and Zetman saw an unprecedented 5 XOD's led home by Tim Harding, Calypso, followed by Tom Rogers in Dophin and John Butt's IT.

After his startline blooper, Adrian Hull's Starfall had it all to do in Class 3; but despite a ceditable effort, he inevitably failed to catch Mike Jones in Forehought.

Class 2 is the biggest fleet, and the top three enjoyed a good tussle before being led home by Chudziak/Malas' M'enfin?!, with Barney Smth's Imptish and Peter Dessent's Vlad in close attendance; although the positions would be reversed on handicap.

John Noe's La Nef IV is clearly on a roll in Class 1, as he led home the RSrn Academy J80, and Steph Merry in Midnight Cowboy – have these guys left their best performance in the Antarctic?

Special mention must go to Ross Elliston, in Mist, who kindly waited for the last boat to finish before reporting he was playing Cat's Cradle with a lobster pot near Coronation. However, by the time the committee boat had upped-anchor and reached him, he had managed to extricate himself. A lesson that every boat should always carry a sharp knife.

Not sure he ever gets a mention, but Rob Winn in the HRSC taxi does a brilliant job ferrying people back ashore from their boats, in the gathering gloom and falling temperature – without getting cross!

A great turn-out in the club afterwards was rewarded with fare I have not known in my 35 years of Wednesday evenings – caterers to die for - well done Sam Flint, they are a star attraction.

Full results can be found at www.hrsc.org.uk/club-results