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Get My Boat 2021 LEADERBOARD

Conwy Fife One Design 'A' Series Race 11 at Royal Anglesey Yacht Club

by Mike Hardie 5 Jul 10:57 BST 3 July 2021

As we sailors assembled, ready for the days entertainment, we were greeted by no wind and warm, overcast conditions, which didn't bode well for the day's programme.

The Crews Race was cancelled after those likely to sail decided that listening to a rather 'jaded' member, who shall remain nameless (it must have been something he ate) was going to be more fun than sailing, and he didn't let us down, with various rants regarding missing Pork Pies and the 'sneaky' tactics employed by some to have clean bottoms amongst other interesting topics. His crew, who is Mrs Motivator, now also had the additional task of giving her helm 'anger management' advice before going afloat.

As the time passed, it became clear that the planned Glyn Garth start was a not a good idea, so the flags for change of venue were hoisted (to universal acclaim) and we ambled off to the pontoon to queue for the launches. Arwel, having been given a temporary promotion (don't ask!) was at the helm of the mighty Bronwen and being very efficient and extremely Covid compliant. Eventually, With 11 boats rigged and ready to go, we waited on our moorings, more in hope than expectation that some wind would arrive which thankfully it did, about 20 minutes before the start a light NE appeared (not the forecast Southerly, which is normally a worrying sign) and settled to make sailing possible.

As the wind was light and unreliable Garth and his trusty team, set a short 'X' course of Nwy, Hwfa. With the tide fast approaching low water slack, 35, Hugo, Lauren & Bob, 29, Trigger and life coach G & 5, Andy & Pete (who isn't Dave) got the best starts in the middle of the line, but with 37, Rhys & Rowan, 34, Family Flower, 40, Men of Panache & 41, Family Yates not far behind. 42, Family Booth, took an alternative route, starting close to the limit marks and heading of towards the big island side. 38, Mike and Steve, 6, Stevie (she who must be obeyed) & Allie and 24, Pippa & Simon followed on watching proceedings from a safe distance, but always ready to pounce at the slightest sign of weakness from those in front!

35 rounded Nwy first followed closely by 29, who had sailed all the way to the Anglesey shore before tacking back and rounding 2nd, 40 were 3rd round, then the gaggle arrived, 37, 34, 42, 5, 38, 41, with 6 and 24, still in full pounce mode. The run back to Hwfa became confusing as the wind now decided firstly to die, then to come from the North causing much confusion, However, 35 managed to hold onto her lead at Hwfa, with 29 still in 2nd and then the pack following. Beating back to Nwy was a slow, painful process as the tide was now running at a healthy rate of knots and with the requirement to sail inside the distance marks leaving the fleet little chance to seek tidal relief. 38 tried the novel approach of 'parking' on the sands (fortunately on a rising tide), but this didn't work quite as well as planned! As the fleet bimbled about looking for wind, it decided to go full 'Magic Roundabout' coming from all points of the compass for brief spells and then, just as we got moving, changing its mind and coming from somewhere else.

After a while (and with a degree of cursing) the previously mentioned forecast breeze from the South arrived and settled to a decent force 2/3 for the rest of the race. 35, once again managed to round Nwy first, with the now bunched fleet, which had now been joined by the growing MSOD fleet in hot pursuit. Despite this the mark rounding was remarkably quiet, the only casualty being 42, who having hit the mark in full view of the following fleet, sailed away to do the circle of shame.

With the breeze now settled, the Peloton behind 35, 29 and 34, had an interesting race, with places won and lost as we played the tide on the way back to Hwfa, with some going up the ladders of chance and some sliding down the snakes of misfortune. The order remained 35, 29, 34. With 40 moving into 4th, 37 in 5th, and 5, 41 and 38 scrapping for 6th. Another run saw no significant place changes, but the beat back saw 38 make a move to 5th ahead of 37, 5 and 41.

Having finished afternoon tea the race control team, after brushing away the cake crumbs and tidying away the bone China, decided it was time to shorten course, and 35 took her maiden win of the season, followed a motivated and calmer 29 in second (good job G), with 34 in 3rd. in the following fleet 38 managed to pass 40 (despite their new lightweight spinnaker pole) to take a lucky 4th, with 37 also passing the despairing Men Of Panache (come back Emlyn, all is forgiven) for 5th. 40 were 6th, followed by, 5, 41, 42, 6 & 24.

So yet another winner, that's 9 in 11 races, whose turn next week? And on that note, as Zebedee famously said 'it's time for bed'.

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