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Conwy Fife One Design 'A' Series Race 21 at Royal Anglesey Yacht Club

by Mike Hardie 26 Sep 12:27 BST 25 September 2021

Rather like a tired and over emotional Oscar winner, fighting to holding back the tears, I feel I need to start this report with a list of thanks to all the people who make it possible for us competitors to enjoy the racing as we do, week after week.

Firstly thanks must go to our Race Officers and line staff, who turn out in all weathers for the dubious pleasure of watching us race, their only reward being the occasional chocolate biscuit or cake on good days. Chris, Nick, Doug, Andrew, Bob, Val, Leslie, Sue, Roz and anybody else who I may have forgotten, many thanks.

To the team who man the launches, always helpful, always close by in a crisis, knowledgeable and smiling. Guy, our Bosun, Arwel, his able deputy and Archie the young pretender, plus all those who step in when needed, thank you all.

To Cliff our ever smiling barman and his assistants for service with a smile and a seemingly unending supply of Doom Bar and Mary and her House Committee minions who provide, Pizza, BBQs, Afternoon Teas and suchlike treats, your dedication is much appreciated.

And finally, but by no means last, Mr Fife and Dickies of Bangor for providing us with such a beautiful and well-built fleet of boats, which continue to provide wonderful photo opportunities for grateful Beaumaris tourists and close, competitive racing for us, the sailors.

So to the 21st and final race of what has seemed a very short season, my doesn't time fly when you're enjoying yourself, especially when the fleet missed a season due to Covid.

The forecasts during the preceding week did not look to promising, but the reality was a steady southerly breeze, which held all afternoon. Race officer Chris. Set course 4, Bangor Outfall, B8, Hwfa, B8, Finish. The course is displayed on a series of boards set along the sea wall and there was a brief moment of panic amongst the race team, when the course board was blown into the sea, leading to a rather frantic request from the Race Officer to the launches, to ensure everybody knew the course!

With a strong South bound tide, the place to start towards the wall, enabling one to get into the strongest tide as soon as possible, 35, Hugo & Bob (Lauren having decided to sit this one out having heard a rumour of Doughnuts on the line) soon took an early lead, with 7, Howard & Leo, 39, Gavin & Dr Annika, 42, Family Booth and 41, Family Yates, 30, Gwen & Dr Flic and 5, Andy & Pete (who isn't Dave) in close attendance. Meanwhile back in the peloton, the usual game of snakes and ladders ensued on the long beat up to Bangor Pier and beyond, with, 34, Paul & Tom working their way through, 29, Family Robinson, with Dan the SBTLYM calling tactics, 38, Mike & Steve, 40, Miggy (Man of Panache) and relations, 6, Robyn, Stevie and Dick and 24 Pippa and Simon all fighting it out for the minor placings.

35 rounded Bangor Outfall with a clear lead from the pack, with 5, 7, 30. 34 and 41 chasing hard. The long run down to B8 against the tide saw the fleet head for Bangor Pier, whilst 38 headed for the Anglesey shore in a vain attempt to gain an advantage (it didn't work, mind you, I wasn't born on Anglesey !) As the fleet crossed the tide before Gallows point 35 still held a lead from 5, 7 and 34. 35 managed to hold of the pursuing pack to B8 and again rounded clearly ahead and began the beat up to Hwfa. With the tide having now turned it was time to short tack up the Anglesey shore, although 29, 38 and 39 tried the long Starboard tack towards the distance marks, in the hope of better breeze away from the effects of Mount Field (it didn't work).

Somehow (I was too far away to see) 5 managed to first close the gap on 35, then pass to take the lead at Hwfa, with 34 sailing through the pack into third place. At this stage, with the Doughnuts and cakes finished and the Bone China stowed away safely, ready for next season, the race team decided to shorten course. So 5, Andy & Pete, not only won the final race of the season, but cemented their position as winners of the 'A' series. 35, Hugo & Bob and 34, Paul and Tom took the remaining places on the podium, followed by 7, 41 and 29. Meanwhile at the better end of the fleet, 38 managed to pick up 3 places rounding Hwfa to finish next (no point getting old if you don't get crafty !) the remaining order was, 30, 40, 39, 42, 6 and 24.

So another season sadly comes to an end and we all go our separate ways to pursue winter activities, with new friendships made, old friendships confirmed, old and new rivalries put on the back burner till next May. That's all for this year folks, thanks for reading, see you in the bar.

P.S. I have included a photo of the close finish in the 'junior' fleet (having only been in existence since 1937) which also shows 'Gunner' Bob at work (if you look closely, I am sure you can see cake crumbs on his polo shirt?).

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