So, back at the back of the boat this Sunday for some more close racing with the bits of the fleet that aren't on holiday, mending the dents or at the Nationals. That's a mere 7 boats then, not a lot but certainly enough to provide some good racing.
AM race, and there was some dispute regarding how many of the fleet were over the line when the gun went. Bob definitely was, and came back. Pete was later judged by a jury of his peers (or 'kangaroo court') to have been over, but pleaded extenuating circumstances involving a flag being lowered to show all-clear. I can't comment as I was gybing round behind the lot of 'em at the time, having arrived at the pin a good 10 secs too early. Really must remember to bring a watch with me to the start-line next time.
Anyhoo, up the first beat, and Pete/Serena were doing the quickest job of escaping the crime scene, but we were hard on their heels with Mo/Holly not too far behind us. Round windward mark 'B' to starboard rather than the usual port affair (and the sky failed to fall in) and then down to 'D' on a nice reach which delivered some planing and trapezing action, and some fishing boat avoidance. The next leg to 'K' would clearly be closer, and we expected that our huge weight advantage would allow us to blow the lightweights into the long grass. But a big tangle up with the kite at the gybe left us further behind, and we didn't even go very fast, so that was a total bust.
OK, run from 'K' to OL and 'J', 3-sail reach to 'T', and start the next lap.
Well we played a couple of blinders up the next beat and popped out just ahead at 'B', but Pete/Serena were on the inside at the mark, and our boom touched their foredeck, and even I know that I'm in the wrong there, so we did a smart 720 and worried Ashley by getting in his way (sorry Ashley), and then zoomed off and had remarkably caught up by the time we got to 'D'. So now we get to blow them away on the tight leg to 'K'....no. This time it transpired that I had cleated the insulating tape on the fluffy bit of the halyard rather than the halyard itself, and then the kite came halfway down, and by the time I got it up again, they were away. Chase them ound 'K', OL, 'J', 'T', and off we go again.
Some more frankly brilliant sailing got us to the top mark first again, and this time we managed an entire lap and a bit without any disasters. So we had a bit of breathing space when, on the last lap, the bobble on the guy-rope exploded under the strain, and we had to sort that out (it's what your cheek blocks are there for, apparently). Still, even with that and some weed, we claimed a first place in that one.
Lunch, and much discussion regarding start lines and positioning of boats on them.
PM, we tacked off the line and went right, fleet went left, big lift then occurred on starboard, so by the time they tacked onto port we were already in the pound seats. We then stayed on starboard all the way past 'M' and were nicely placed to the left of 'A' when the wind did a 90 degree shift and allowed us to carry on in basically the same direction but now on port tack. We now had a mahoosive lead, so spent the rest of the race watching JT/Quentin, Pete/Serena and Mo/Holly slugging it out for 2nd place. JT won that one, and if we missed out on the action then at least we enjoyed the sunshine and the 3-sail reaches.
PS, BIG BIG weed bed somewhere in the triangle formed by K, M and Y - we sailed across it once on the way from M to Y and it wasn't a good idea at all. Plus I got water in my ear while trying to remove it from the rudder. You have been warned