Well that one broke up the week rather nicely. Being a bit short of crews, the assembled furballers played musical chairs with the available boats and I ended up at the front of Richard Glen's, which is not a bad place to be.
Off to the start then, where I observed that the shrouds on Richard's boat didn't make the melodious 'boing' sound that fireball shrouds should make when twanged by the restless crew. More rig tension required Richard....no, more than that....bit more...(boinggg) that sounds about right. And then get the strut forward a bit too to get the curve looking right, and we're good to go.
A practice start revealed that the red buoy was trailing cable about 2ft below the surface, so if you went upwind of it you'd get hooked. OK, we won't do that then. And remarkably we were able to start on port tack in the middle of the line with no trouble at all, and sailed off cheerfully watching Pete & Serena trying (unsuccessfully) to tow the red buoy away.
The course as set was mostly alright, with a beat from T to N, 3-sail reach to K, 3-sail reach to X, run to S, broad reach to H, close reach back to T. We chased Badders round for a bit, with me demonstrating why I don't usually crew every time I got the kite up, and the wind then went NW, which removed all the beats and left us with a drag race. Pete and Serena got past us when we were held up by a slow-gybing MPS at H, and they went off to harass Badders, while JT & Paul gained on us. Then the wind went Northerly, and dropped off a lot too. OK, kicker completely off, check, outhaul very tight, check, strut forward another inch, checkety-check. Whereupon we cruised up to Pete's transom on the new beat from K to X to S and then slipped inside at 'H'. Pete & Serena were a bit too far in the lead to catch, so we spent the last leg to T keeping an eye on the other two boats just behind, finally finishing 2nd.
Ashore then to check the rig tension, which was now apparently 560lbs on the forestay and 780lbs on the shrouds if you can believe the gauge, personally I don't, but that's pretty impressive on a 20 year old boat if it's true. Don't try this at home kids, your boat might explode.