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Rooster 2020 - Impact BA - LEADERBOARD

Rooster Solo National Championship 2021 - Day 5

by Will Loy 26 Aug 18:28 BST 21-27 August 2021
Idle rudders on day 5 of the Rooster Solo National Championship © Will Loy

Following my hearty dinner the previous evening, I opted for a light breakfast of orange juice and melon slices. It was then a surprise when my waitress served up the full English. Not wanting to upset the catering team I accepted and consumed the plateful, which reminds me, I must cancel tomorrow's standing order.

I arrived at the club dinghy park, competitors milling around Solos chatted and fiddled while others wrestled with the dilemma of when or if to change into sailing apparel.

The flags and Rooster banners hung limply in front of the clubhouse, looking like they had lost the will to live. Some sailors were all ready for action, Jarvis Simpson among them. His fourth place yesterday must have fed the tiger in him and now he wanted more of the elixir of success... even if there wasn't any bloody wind.

I took a moment to reflect on last night's prize-giving; Andy Ritchie had won a very nifty power charger for an electric car. Doug Latta, the sponsor for POWERWORKS EVC, briefly explained its use with the enthusiasm of a science teacher in his first month of residence in Brixton. Undaunted by the glazed expressions he powered through the details - he certainly knows his stuff. I predict he will be a billionaire by 2030.

P&B had supplied the NSCA with a whole load of P&B kitbags etc and these were very appreciated by the raffle ticket winners.

Thank you to all our sponsors, we really appreciate the support you have provided in the run up to this Championship.

Hours passed, old acquaintances renewed their love and hate for each other while the newer competitors weaned any crumb of information that might help them improve.

The wind flitted from 120 to 270 and had about as much substance as a follower of the Kardashians.

Shoulders slumped and thoughts of an early AP and the trip to the ice cream parlour rose to the top of the priority list.

Undaunted, the PRO waited patiently, far out in the bay with his race team and jury/media team sitting in position. The view of the beach and bars must have been a tempting proposition but the swim in would have tested even me.

Amazingly, after a few hours postponement the PRO beckoned the sailors to join him, clearly wanting them to share his experience of floating around in 25 degrees and little wind. To be fair, with four races to go, a poor forecast for the final day, and little between the leading two competitors, he was keen to at least try and get a race done.

I had unfortunately missed my opportunity to board the RIB, and the tide wait'eth for no man and I was no exception. Not looking a gift horse in the mouth I retired to the beach, cold beverage in hand and awaited news from my team aboard the RIB. My phone pinged: 5 knots and variable. I looked out to the fleet and thought to myself... that looks crap.

One hour later and the fleet returned, and the tide had receded even further down the lengthy beach which would mean a fair old hike for the sun-soaked sailors.

The fleet took it pretty well and were also sympathetic to the PRO's plight: "Devil if you do and devil if you don't" was uttered more than once by the learned amongst them... so it was said at least twice.

There were still stories to be told. Vince Horey, not one to shy away from the Wally of the Day Award put his hat in the ring by using the local lifeboat's personal hosepipe, only to be told by one of the locals, "you don't wanna be using that!"

Roger Lumby, despite having a 2.30pm tee time with the other Salcombe boys, decided to sail as far away from the beach as possible while his 'team mates' - correctly anticipated an AP - positioned themselves close to home and promptly berthed at 1.45. My guess is that the format will be Stableford and he will score no points for at least the first four holes.

Tomorrow is showing a similar forecast to today so it could be a gripping climax if we get even one race.

I will leave the final sentence to Georgia Ritchie (aged 6) who approached her father, Andy, and said, "why are you going out Daddy, there is no wind."

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