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Woo Led Hat Races 5 & 6 at Harlow (Blackwater) Sailing Club

by Alan Jackson 15 Feb 2006 07:02 GMT 12 February 2006

Galactic disappointment descended over the home Fireball men as a real chance to take hold of the much-covered Wallet Hat slipped their grasp.

With a Siberian sword of icy rain cutting its way back to Moscow from the S.W. at 16-18 knots under a heavy grey sky the words global warming seemed a joke. The race box set a course spread the full-distance - Spit to Mundon and all marks between in every direction; it was race on. The fleet had the pleasure of the return Mr Martin Scarth and the much-slimmed down Nigel posing as Maria, whom it turned out was very nippy in the front and hugely better looking. Also this week David Islin rejoined the fleet after extended holidaying in Oz along with Laser Clive who wished he were in Oz and last but not least Chris and Al Wigg returned to open their assault on the series. The tide, slow to mount the mud flats, held back by the high-pressure system postponed start for some time. The fleet hit the start with Martin (Laser) presenting himself on starboard tack in front of the nearly in control charging port fleet to win the start with Jacko and Lorna reaching the Spit mark first followed by the Fireballs for the long, right up the chuff run to Mundon Spit.

Spinnakers where upped in a rather dodgey manner and at this point the wind gods threw in a heavy set of squalls that built one on the other until what was left standing planed out past Lawling point at white knuckle speed. Jacko was seen hanging out over the transom with Lorna on his lap over lapped with David and Tony praying to Mecca and Martin and Maria sharing what looked like a chocolate bar, Martin in his Laser with no toys to play with just got on with the sailing. Sad to say the rest of the fleet was split off, some having bad hair days, gear failure, or swimming lessons. Chris and Al fought hard with the conditions and finally trawled for the fishes with the remains of the spinnaker, to retire.

Martin using skill and judgment won the race by the smallest of margins from Martin and Maria in the Fireball with Jacko and Lorna who also spent time looking at the kite under the bow on a very iffy run finished 3rd but due to some scam in wining the 4th race Bottle prize had a reduced elapsed time and was awarded an = 1st

With the back-to-back race format race 6 was off with Jacko and Lorna wining the start and taking line honours and their first win in the series in a wind that had lessened slightly on an ebbing tide. Martin again started well and stuck to the task of hovering up the errors of the faster boats with Martin (Fireball) feeling for signs of life under his woollen hat in 3rd place.

On the 26th Feb. races 7 and 8 see the series reach half way and the discards come in but with reports of heavy snow across the pond and the Fireball fleet feeling the pace, Merlins barely hanging in will Laser Martin get a grip on the Woo Led Hat? Can Keith get out of going to work? Will The Ronnet’s sort the naughty little problem in their rig coarse adjustment out? Will Batty ever get his mast up again? Can Al look Chris in the eye and not think of fish?

Woo Led Hat thus far:
1st Jacko and Lorna 14 pts
2nd Martin 15 pts
3rd Malcolm and Tony 34 pts

The Mundon Mug: latest nominations
Chris and Al, nets are better than spinnakers
Dave and Tony, round turn and a rolling spinnaker hitch
Malcolm and Tony, bad hair day – need more gel

The Diving Duck Trophy: new nominations
Ron and Laura, mud, I love it
Dave and Tony, what jibing string
Clive, two tillers or more
Chris and Al, here we go, here we go...

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