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Craftinsure 2012
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Helming to Win by Nick Craig
Helming to Win by Nick Craig
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Craftinsure Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller at Rutland Sailing Club

by North Wind 7 May 2012 21:59 BST 6 May 2012

To: Mr West Wind, Cloud 9 Resort, California

Dear West,

Hope you're enjoying your holiday, just thought I'd write and let you know what I'd been up to.

I was feeling rather tired after blowing so hard last weekend. I'm pretty sure I managed to spoil the fun of plenty of people who wanted to sail their little boats, but at my age I can't do that sort of exercise for two weekends running. I decided instead to go and tease those silly people who sail Merlin Rockets - with all that string I couldn't wait to see them tie themselves up! Where were they going? Rutland Water! Renowned for strong, steady winds over the last few years and round 7 of the Craftinsure Silver Tiller series too. Had to be worth a look!

So I thought I'd keep things nice and steady as the competitors turned up. I blew about 8 knots from the East (hope he didn't mind, I think he was still in bed) to lull them into a sense of security. I thought I'd drop it down a bit as they were launching though to slow them down and just make sure that bloke in the start boat had to fly that pretty red and white flag. Had to be carefull though, I didn't want to overdo it and stop them going out.

Once they were out they were mine! What better way to wreak havoc than to blow around all over the place and stop the bloke in the start boat setting a line. That kept them busy for a while, but I though I'd let them get going after three attempts as I didn't want them going home early. Some bloke called Whitworth lead the fleet round the first mark I think, with a nice cloudy grey boat second - I think his name was Biggs. There were about six boats in the lead pack, they had a good cushion and I couldn't allow that. I let them get about three quarters of the way to the second mark and then gave them a gust from the south. That pushed all the boats together at the mark in a nice big raft. What chaos! How I laughed!! After all that mayhem I though I'd leave them alone for a little while so I dropped down to about 4 knots and settled to the north east for a bit, just tickling little bits of the lake at a time. I really gave the fleet a hard time. That Whitworth bloke won, Sarah Bines crewing.

After they had all finished though I decided to drop off completely, after all that work I needed a nap and while I snored away in all directions that bloke in the start boat was whizzing all over the place trying to set a course. I think he did it four times. I woke up after about an hour with a crick in my neck facing north, and would you believe it my hay fever set in. I had a mad sneezing fit which had the little boats planing everywhere, I think my biggest sneeze was about 15 knots. Better yet, that bloke in the start boat though I'd settled down, he set a course and a start sequence - couldn't have that! I waited until he'd got about 30 seconds to go and started to blow from the east again. The silly people in the little boats were most appreciative.

By now I think they were starting to think about going in so I thought I'd better settle down for a bit. I sat in the East again and blew about 8 knots for a while. They were so eager to get going that they were all over the start line at the first attempt, but the bloke in the start boat flew a funny black flag the second time and they all behaved themselves. Dave Winder lead them around the first mark and then disappeared. He's quite a nice chap so I though I'd wait till he was well in front and then stop blowing for a while and give him a hand. I forgot that that Whitworth bloke was quite close to him though so I though I'd shift around a bit just to make them sweat a bit. A couple of 180 degree shifts did the trick nicely. Dave won with Pippa crewing for him, that Whitworth bloke was second. You should have seen what I did to some of the people in mid fleet - I was in hysterics!

A few people were going in now, I suppose it was nearly 4:00 but with two winners the bloke in the start boat wanted to do another race if I'd let him. To be fair I was pretty tired by now though and fell asleep. I think he got one sequence started, but I turned over and started blowing from the other direction. After that he gave up and sent everyone home. I have to say the poor bloke did his best, and tried to give the people in the boats good racing.

That Whitworth bloke and Sarah won overall, Dave Winder and Pippa Taylor were second, with Matt Biggs and Ben Hollis third in that nice cloudy grey boat. Full results are on Rutland SC's website if you fancy a look.

So, don't feel you need to come back off holiday soon, these guys in the Merlins are off to Brightlingsea in a couple of weeks and I'd quite like to tease them there as well. But then again maybe I need a holiday too, and these people keep asking where you are as they want a summer. Hopefully see you soon.

Yours

North Wind.

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