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Weekly report 4th August.

Tuesday 11 was cancelled with fierce winds and Simon Green, who was biting his nails to the bone having to attend a dinner engagement in North Kent, was so delighted when he found out he drank 3 bowls of ’Soup of the day’ and ruined one of his shirts !

Thursday by contrast suffered with lack of wind, but luckily the ripple and tide gods were behaving and everyone got round. Simon Herrington snapped something or other and his sail collapsed, Ian Sheppard then performed a ‘Wreck of the Medusa ‘ act standing on his boat lashed to the mast waving his arms furiously to alert the powers at be. Apparently, he had performed the same role in a play at secondary school . Unfortunately, the only person to spot them was me, as no one could have expected so much drama on the high seas in such calm. The implacable Simon must have wondered what all the fuss was about but might raise an eyebrow at another Phil Halldron win.

Simon Green won the fast from John and Julia.

Sunday suffered with a lack of wind again, and, in between races a total calm made many came in. Dom and Izzy Johnson won in an RS400. Richard White , Ben Hills, and Phil Halldron fought it out at the front but the order stayed the same in both with Richard winning twice. He also now  wins ‘fastest up the beach award’ with an unassailable points tally a bit like the Green jersey in the ‘Tour de France’. Lower down in the riffraff Rosie , Joe and Martyn Wyman fought it out in a moment of rare excitement neck and neck, Martyn just pipped it.

Emerging from the sea like Ursula Undress was Mike Heeley with a high vis swim bladder in tow. He claimed to have swum to the pier and back and he certainly was covered in fish hooks. He then preceded to spend the rest of day trotting around in what can only be described as an off duty Roman centurion outfit in bright red.

One interest of the day was the 4 high speed naval vessels roaring down the channel although a mile out their wash arrived just as boats were coming in from the second race. Phil Halldron was knocked sideways by a large wave and was shaking his fist at them  but  I’m sure they were not intimidated.

Weekly Report 30th July

Regatta Week

The Ladies race on July 19th was cancelled with high winds but the Regatta week had every race completed.

First of these was the ‘Vancouver Cup’ which had 16 boats of which 5 did not get a finish. Brian Cory was out in his new Sprint 15, but if you look closely you might realise that it is his old ‘A class’ sawn in half and with the ends chopped off. ‘A’ class secretary Donald Blabbige is appalled by all accounts.

Phil Halldron was the eventual winner after 4 laps with Adam Page, Laser man of the moment, in  second. The Beauchamp vase on the Tuesday had 11 boats of which only 5 finished led home by Simon Green. The trophy incidentally is the giant one in the cabinet that looks like an inverted trombone, and l believe was named after an ex- commodore’s pet chimp called ‘Beau’ – the spelling has changed slightly with time.

The ‘Bank Buoy scramble’ always has a funky ‘let your hair down’ sort of atmosphere where on reaching the buoy at one nautical mile should one carry on the Holland ? There were also some interesting duos including Mr and Mrs Sharvill in a 2000 who actually got 4th, Roger and Claire Milligan in a 2000, Ed and Ian Shepherd also in 2000, Alex Lane and ‘Gaelle’ not to be confused with the French antique glass in a Hartley and Sally and Martyn Styles in a 400. Chris Shelton was back home and dry for his fish’n’chips in 25 minutes and Stuart was very keen to point out he was first Aero home- but he was the only one.

The ‘Deal Handicap’ on Sunday was the smallest participation of the week with 2 out of 3 races to count in the fast Simon Green got two firsts and the others retired. Adam Page won the slow in a Laser and Stuart and Dave Spicer were last in a 2000.

People have begun to drift back from the NSSA regatta at Weymouth harbour where Alex Head managed a 2nd overall in the 4.7 Lasers and Abbey Mumford and Evie Herrington won the mixed handicap fleet after 7 races in a 420 beating 30 other boats.

Its’s all back to normal this week.

Weekly Report 14th July

Tuesday points 9 had Ben Hills winning the slow, so presumably he has re-riveted his mast. Tony Cook won both mid -week races in his phantom and, consequently,  is avoiding Chris Shelton at the moment. Simon and Denise won the devilish wind shifts on Thursday.

Sunday had the dramatic backdrop of loud swoops of music from the marines especially given the strong NE wind. With a dodgy launch there were Bond movie themes to give people a little self confidence, landings were greeted with the theme music to ‘Star wars. Rosie had to swim to shore from the rescue with the Rolling Stones ‘Can’t get no satisfaction’ ringing in her ears. Her boat was sailed home by Nigel. Ian Sheppard would not have heard any music as he spent most of the races under his boat. Adam Page led both races from start to finish until the top mast snapped and put the usual hole through the sail to the sad tones of ‘The Onedin line’, Martyn Styles witnessed the damage with the theme tune to ‘psycho’ but Jerry King, who had lost all hopes of winning, took over with the theme to ‘The Dambusters’.

Neil Gibson and Keith Macey actually won race 1 in the RS800- the boat with the handicap of the devil 777, or is it 666 ?  They were last in the next race. Some brave Toppers were out there , Pheobe Davis in a 4.2 actually came 3rd overall. Alan Mollatt won race 1 in the fast singlehanders but after race 2 headed out to sea with a jammed sail standing up caught in ropes. But the patient beach crew were enjoying the waves and the warm water.

Weekly Report 6th July

Sunday points 6 and summer points 7 were bizarre races two Sundays ago. There was a nice wind forecast which never came , people drifted around to the point where Peter Hyett actually fell asleep, dreamt he was on a tropical island , on waking he was not surrounded by native girls but gruesome sailors in most cases. Most people came in, but ‘man of the moment’ Jerry King stayed for the second race, hotly followed by the ones who need the points, even Rosie. However, the first race it seems was won by an Andrew Palison in a Laser but no one actually knew who he was or where he came from. In fact, someone was talking to him and he simply disappeared ‘ it was like something out of the Twilight Zone’ a frightened Jerry King uttered from behind his towel. There were wins for Richard and Martyn, Simon and Denise. The fast singlehanders was won by Simon Green but by this stage there were only 2 boats left.

l have been doing the sailing reports since 1976 man and boy, and Tuesday points 8 had 24 boats which l believe to be a record. About 5 years ago there was a 21  and l remember thinking then why not a Thursday? When the kit is dry, thoughts of booze and its been a long week etc. Nathan Brazil and a Sinaead O’Conner were in a 2000, Adam and Zazia Page in a 2000 and Claire Herrington in a 4.7 who had to overtake everyone to remind people about canteen duties ( this was all part of ladies training night). Jerry King crossed the line a mile ahead but was beaten by Richard in the new Solo with the handicap of an opie. There was a rare win for Tony Cook’s Contender .

Thursday points 8 saw a lowly 11 boats with an uninspiring wind but 4 laps were completed in the fast. Phil Peach might have won except for being over the line and one of the weakest attempts to doubleback ever recorded but not missed by the hawks on the bridge. Simon and Denise won the Slow and the Restalls won the fast.

The biggest excitement in years ensued at the bar afterwards when the old till tray jammed, and smoke was seen coming from the new digital contraption. A frantic Chris Shelton had to be dragged away and given a calming hot drink. It seems l have to resolve this by looking out for a whole new system at Tilmanstone boot fayre.

On Sunday it was a steady f3 ENE by all accounts, Ian was back from haggis shooting in Scotland, 14 boats took part and there were wins for Simon and Denise and Phil Halldron despite all the lasers crossing the line first. Simon Green won both fast singlehanders.

Weekly Report 11th May

The singlehander open meeting had the most delicious NE winds and sun and on the training Saturday, there were even gusts of F5 for a short while and some tricky landings but the more careful had already retired after lunch. 

The Sunday had a slight decrease in wind but it was constant in over 5 hours of racing . The stats read  33 boats, including 13 in the Topper fleet, 12 in the mixed , and 8 Streakers with just two visitors. The Toppers had 12 youngsters all from different clubs with one sole representative from Downs ….. wait for it, Julia Blackman who achieved an honourable placing in the results!

The Toppers seemed to have the most fun and were even at the Bank Buoy for one training session and the Open was won by James Crossley from Datchet. The mixed fleet was won by Chris Shelton but there were first of the year outings for Ken Davis Aero 7, Richard White Solo and Max Taylor Nobbs Radial.

I believe the boat trade-in brigade might well start looking at Neil Gibson’s Solution which seems to do well in the conditions at the club.

The Streakers saw Simon Cory win all 4 races which was tricky to choose a discard and all of this in Roger’s boat. After the light hearted tuition of the previous day this was serious race face stuff, the only blip being his arrival on shore under the boat-don’t worry Roger l rescued the boat. Jo and Rosie fought it out at the less professional, more glamourous end but, after some confusion results were even. ‘Drone Man’ was on hand to capture all the action from two days .

The vast infrastructure on shore included: chefs, life coaches, bridge crew, shore parties and the curious who all took the opportunity to sunbathe out of the chill wind on the sunny side of the club. In between clearing mould off sausages and topping up one’s tan, there was a constant flow of different cakes.

I overheard one of the Streaker visitors say that ‘the sailing was fantastic’ and surely it was the best place to be.

As l was up to my neck all day l believe the water temp was warmer than the air but, after all these years, it was the first time l have walked into the winch wire and l have two neat grooves in my shins -but it is an honour, for the wires are such shiny new affairs these days.

Tuesday the 14th was probably cancelled and the 16th was definitely off with horrific NE gusts.