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Vane 36R 'The Woods Cup' at Fleetwood Model Yacht Club

by Tony Wilson 2 May 17:01 BST 27 April 2019
The Woods Cup for Vane 36R fleet at Fleetwood © Tony Wilson

Another Vane event and another storm to deal with. After last week's glorious sunshine with light winds on most days, today's forecast was for winds in excess of 50 mph. Welcome storm Hannah.

An email early morning to the local guys that live up in Fleetwood and they were positive for the day to a go ahead and downplayed the intensity to how bad it really was.

Three guys were already waiting to go and we somehow cobbled a fourth boat together to make it even numbers. Because it was fairly rough, the plan was to sail only the upwind beats. The waves were lashing over the foot way just below the bridge and the smallest rig you could find was the only one to use.

Helpers were at hand again. Darren to assist John, Eric.A. to help Peter and also Bob was going to shuttle between Tony and Keith. First two yachts to the start grid and it was John and Tony that had to duck the waves as they released their Vane boats. Tony was still working on old trim values so John took the win on that one. Peter was also able to get to the top first as Keith's main sail line came undone.

The next pairings and Tony lost out to Peter as the drain plug disappeared and the boat filled up. Peter also won against John as he had troubles and the base of the mast broke off. Keith then lost his Jib against Tony and also went back to the cabin for some quick repairs again. John and Keith were to sail their remaining race from this round straight after lunch as time was marching on.

Peter was doing really well as he hadn't lost against anyone. John and Keith sailed their first race and John eventually pipped Keith to the finish.

On to round two and Keith left Tony about half way down the lake to realise he had now also lost a drain plug when the vane safety line got caught on it and had dropped it into the water. In full eagerness and just about emptying it in enough time just before Tony closed in on him, as it would have been a giveaway steal in the many minutes it took to drain the hull. How these boats don't fully sink with the amount they had taken on is any ones guess.

Tony was now up against Peter again and after a fail start they were off again. Almost neck and neck right up to the very top, Peter made a bit of a mistake and took a gamble. Tony now well trimmed had been steadily gaining on him all the way up the lake. It was a now or never pole off which awarded Peter the blue flag. This was the only race Peter had lost all day giving him a total winning score of 15 points. John's boat 'Nerenuf' had had enough, so John forfeited his last race due to the ongoing repairs just as Keith had dropped down and readied his boat with yet another smaller sail.

Honestly speaking we didn't really think the day was going to happen, but we endured it and for some, it was fun. Did any other sailing events go ahead anywhere else? Thanks to Eric Watkinson for race officer duties and to the helpful hands on the far bank.

Results

1 Peter Whiteside 15 pts
2 Keith Wiseman 9 pts
3= John Plant 6 pts
3= Tony Wilson 6pts

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