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Conwy Fife One Design 'A' Series Race 2 at Royal Anglesey Yacht Club

by Mike Hardie 10 May 12:14 BST 8 May 2021
Conwy Fife One Design 2021 'A' Series © Ian Bradley

Rain, rain, go away, come again another day. After a week of dire weather predictions for Saturday and following a morning of torrential rain, the weather gods finally took pity on the Fife fleet and provided us with a marginally sailable afternoon.

The fleet, having made the collective decision to sail (some with more enthusiasm than others, it has to be said), walked away from the shelter of the clubhouse and onto the more exposed pontoon to await the launch (raising doubts as to the wisdom of it all). All nine crews initially set out, took covers off and awaited developments, as discussion between the Race Officer and Bosun Guy (the fount of all knowledge) pondered the best thing to do. After some discussion the decision was made to race as the fleet continued to wait to see who, if anyone would be first to leave the moorings. 18, (Alistair (AKA Kayak) & Mark) sailed away first, followed by 38, (Mike & Steve) and then the whole flee set off, with the exception of 41 (whose helm, having decided that shopping was a safer and drier option, went ashore) leaving Barry and Tim to make up the numbers in 42 and 39 respectively.

With a strong SW (Force 7 in the wilder gusts!) our able race team, led by Chris Gofton, set an X course of B12, B8.

As the fleet killed time waiting for the Sequence to begin, 30, (Gwen & stronger than he looks, Jay) wisely decided it wasn't for them, and having dropped Mary (who subsequently joined 38) off at the launch headed back to their mooring. Number 5, Andy & Pete, having bravely decided to try out their swiftly repaired rigging (courtesy of Tak) seemed happy with things, until they ran aground, which on the falling tide meant a tow off and early bath, and so their run of bad luck continues, but as these things come in three's apparently, they should be OK next time?

Race Officer Chris had seemingly had a frank, but fair and supportive word, with the Race Team, following recent events. Consequently, the flags and timing sequencing were faultless, although, that having been said, dissatisfied mutterings were heard afterwards, from the line minions about not even having time for a cup of tea and the shameful lack of cupcakes!

18, continuing her recent form, was OCS again (is it a different starting sequence for Canoeing events Alistair?) not sure if they went back as we were all a little busy dealing with a tasty squall and traffic, at the time.

The beat to B12 was 'bracing' and as anybody who has ever sailed a Fife will appreciate very, very, wet. 42,(Tim, Henry and Orphan Barry) led the way with 29, (Trigger, Mrs Trigger and G but minus Dan TSBTLYM) and 18 in close company. 38 and 39, (Gavin, Dr Charles and Orphan Tim, but minus 'love interest' Dr Annika) squabbled at the back, followed by 15, (Guest Helm Mervyn and Dave) who were watched from ashore by an extremely generous but increasingly nervous owner, rounded out the fleet. 18, again repeating recent form, ran aground, forcing Mark to complete 'the walk of shame' to collect the tow rope offered by apprentice bosun, Arwel.

42 rounded B12, clearly ahead and declined to set her Spinnaker, much to the relief of the following pack, led by 29, 39, 38 and 15. From mid fleet, we watched a whimpering 29 carry out the most amazing Chinese gybe, 39 gybe and broach whilst we had a controlled and well executed gybe, however we did loose the Windex, my hat and break two battens in the process! The long run down to B8 allowed us to all calm down and gather our courage for the beat back to the finish. 42 continued to sail away to take a decisive victory on the mercifully shortened course. 29, chanced their arm once to often and went firmly aground, whilst short tacking up the Anglesey shore (come back Dan TSBTLYN, all is forgiven), 38 sailing a cautious race finished in second place followed by 39 and 15.

All credit to the Race Team for allowing us out to play and thank you once again, Mr Fife and Dickies of Bangor for giving us such a wonderful boat to sail.

See you on the water soon folks.

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