Sunday, 4 August 2013

Nationals Pt. 3

With no wind on Thursday, we spent the entire day sitting about on the off chance that it would fill in, but sadly it didn't. So that meant an early start on Friday and three races.

The cat woke us up in the middle of the night again, prompting the long walk to the toilet block to relieve my bladder. Cat is sociable and comes along for the exercise, waiting until I am out of sight and then haring past me at top speed, although he has occasionally run into guy-ropes. But once in the block, he won't necessarily follow you out - Elaine once found him lying on his back in a shower cubicle at 3:30am with his legs in the air - we don't know why.

Friday dawned, and I could again hear the wind whipping about in the trees on the campsite, which didn't make me particularly happy at the thought of doing three races. But down on the beach the wind was pretty light, and the sun was out too. We put the big kite on, partly due to the lighter winds but mostly due to the fact that the normal (almost brand new) kite had a rip in it. Sigh.

Out at the start, the wind remained pretty moderate and we had a good first race, reckoning a 13th place when we finished. We then pulled the pins out and went to 22'8", and scored a rather less impressive 22nd-ish place in the next one. Then another good one, roughly 15th place at a guess (and I can only guess as the results haven't made it online yet). This was the sort of sailing I signed up for, sunshine, moderate winds, and a bit of tactical sailing. Not the huge waves and big winds of earlier in the week.

Then pack the boat up, bring the trailer round, tow it off to the campsite, back to the clubhouse for the prizegiving, much cheering and clapping of the winners, and we got a mug each. Another night of dubious comfort in the poxy caravan, and then the opportunity to spend 5 hours on the M5 getting it all back home.

Back in dear old Rugby the sun was shining and the wind was blowing, but having spent the entire week sailing I couldn't really expect to get to sail on Sunday too. So I took the boat back to the club, where a decent fleet of 9 Fireballs were out racing. The wind promptly dropped and it then rained on me for the entire time that I was reassembling the boat, so it's clearly not just Looe that gets iffy weather for Fireball events.

Fair play to the UKFA and Looe SC, who did pretty much all it is possible to do to make the event work, and should be proud of what they achieved. If we'd had the sunshine of the week before it would have been perfect, but you can't dictate the weather, so we had a mixed bag of sun, rain, clouds, a thunderstorm, big winds and massive waves instead. I would have like to have done a few gate starts, particularly on day 1 when we had more general recalls than I care to remember, but maybe these have gone out of fashion in recent years.

Next year it is in Tenby. Will I be going?  Hmmm, not sure. Ask me again in 2 months time when I have recovered from this one.


Since I have returned home, it appears that a number of you have read the blog and that more people are interested in the cat's exploits than mine. So for the benefit of these people:

We took Jasper (aka, Mr Fluffy) with us, rather against my better judgement, on the basis that two weeks is a long time to leave him home alone to be fed by neighbours or locked up in a cattery. Week one was spent in a house by the beach in Saundersfoot, where the weather was fabulous. Jasper went for walks on the beach on his lead, which he dislikes intensely, and I made sure it was always somebody else on the other end of it as there is something distinctly wrong about being a bloke with a cat on a lead in public. Particularly a cat which tends to fall over at random intervals to have a chew at the harness.

Jasper said he liked the sand but was unsettled by the big lumpy crashy thing at the far side of it.

For week 2 of the holiday, given that we were spending it in a caravan we were never going to be able to keep him in reliably, so we gave him a few walks on the lead to acclimatise him, then put on the GPS tracker collar and let him roam free. The promise of a bit of tuna every day kept him from straying too far, although he seemed to expect it at some very odd times of the night too. He also liked to accompany any member of the family down to the toilet/shower block, and would go in with you and explore - much to the amusement of the other campers.

Travelling in the car he just lies down in the footwell and falls asleep, and on arriving back home trotted straight round to the neighbours to complain about his treatment and claim 2 weeks worth of the chicken chunks she gives him. He then came back home and settled down for a bit of a nap in his special place:

A great cat-bed. When he's not there, it washes clothes too

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