Magic Marine Solo National Championship Day 3
Friday, July 27, 2018
The morning began with a 9 a.m Committee meeting, not selling the whole voluntary concept am I?This was held in the rafters of the formidable H.I.S.C HQ with the bonus of being in earshot of flight control where radio coms from the Committee boat, stationed in the bay, would be directed. It was therefore no surprise to us when the flag was hoisted up the mast at 10.45 a.m signalling the release of the fleet. While the wind was from a westerly direction, like a conservative back bencher, it promised to swing left later. The competitors arrived with some minutes to spare, allowing time to hydrate, pee, race and repeat. PRO Paul Carpenter arranged the marker boats like chess pieces, only stopping for the odd drag on his cigarette and a moment alone to analyse the wind data presented to him by his pawns.
With some bias on the line the pin end was busier than a Birmingham curry house on a Friday night and a recall was inevitable. The pin end was dropped back 50 yards but still they came and further recalls, some under black flag resulted in some big hitters being ejected, Cumbley Cumpsty and Creaser just to name a few.
The fleet finally got away with the breeze oscillating between 5-7 mph and between 195-210 degrees. The 0.8 of a mile beat stretched the fleet out and those who went left seemed to benefit with Gareth Henshall getting the shifts right to lead at the top mark. Stuart Godwin, Tim Law and Alec Powell were next to filter round as swaths of Solos who had over-cooked the lay lines steamed into the mark. The line of starboard tackers must have looked a daunting site for those on port. Prayers to the Holy Lord fell on deaf ears and I everted my eyes as Solos crossed like the Red Arrows in one of their more complicated manoeuvres. The PRO had set a windward-leeward course and after negotiating the spreader mark and some more lefty cowboys the competitors split left, right and middle as the wind continued to drop.
By the leeward gate it was Godwin who led out of the (his) right gate and made for the left (this is why sailing is so confusing for the layman). Mike Hicks and Law followed while Alec Powell opted for the other gate, the H.I.S.C member calling on all his local knowledge. Richard Lovering, 2nd overall was next to follow the main group with Olly Davenport and Nigel Davies in close pursuit. By the top mark it was clear to Powell that his knowledge of Hayling Bay was as useful as a GoPro with no SD card. Just to kick the unlucky lad while he is down, he was BFD. On a brighter note it was Hicks, who had judged the approach from the left almost perfect and took the lead from Godwin, with Law right on his tail and hoping for a result that would upgrade his event 3rd Magic Marine bib back to red. This very morning he had enquired as to why Lovering was in the far more fashionable azure bib which would have matched his steely blue gaze after day 2. They had equal points but he had a superior discard. Fortunately for the race team and my future on Earth the last raced sailed denoted Loverings attire, which was correct.
As if to make a statement of intent, Law found pressure and he is a man who eats it for breakfast so was able to eek out enough room to round the leeward mark at collect his first bullet of the Championship. Godwin held 2nd with Hicks, who is proving a worthy opponent, 3rd. Davenport’s 4th gets him into 7th overall, a great achievement following his BFD in race 1 while Lovering in 5th would drop him to 3rd overall.
Tim Law is our leading Grand Master in second overall while Guy Mayger leads the Veteran series (ninth) two points ahead of H.I.S.C. Commodore Nick Peters. Alexander Butler is eighteenth and first Junior, Alec Powell retains the Plate series bib in 23rd and John Webster leads the Septimus Series in 35th. Ellie ‘Crumpets’ Cumpsty is our first female in 31st but is counting one of her two BFDs so look for improvement.
So, you are thinking, what happened next? Well the wind switched off like a woman’s lust when you mention buying a new boat. We attempted several starts but the heavier sailors were messing around and causing all sorts of mischief in an attempt to stall for wind. PRO Paul Carpenter, shaking the last fag from his semi crushed B&H finally called it a day and sent the fleet home which was where they had been heading for half an hour.
The Magic Marine caps and peaks have been protecting the fleet from the glare of the sun as it reflects off the deep blue and the winning kit that was handed out to some very worthy winners has been put to good use.
Last night there were some more very happy sailors, well the one’s who had entered the event early enough to be included in the daily prize draw. Among them, Grayson Eacott from Stewartby who won a North Sails £100 discount voucher, Charles Stimpson, a winner of £50 North Sails voucher and newly elected Vice-President Patrick Burns who will be sporting a North Sails T Shirt along with some others. There was a kitbag which I had my eye on but was awarded to someone bigger than me and Mark Maskell collected a North Sails water bottle. I will be interviewing the North Sails team this week to look at rig set up.
Allen Improver Series
The Allen ‘Improver of the Day’ series has started and after day 2 it was Olly Davenport who was the biggest mover from 53rd to 7th while after day 3 it was Patrick Burns whose fantastic 29th in race 5 moved him up 14 places. We will be awarding the winners and an overall champion on Friday so if you are a competitor or a PRO trying to get a race in remember, don't give up.
We will be handing out some fantastic Hyde kit tonight, not last night as advertised as we wanted Hyde sails Richard Lovering to be available. I will also be focusing my camera on their rig set up so it should be busy in the boat park in the morning.
The theme tonight in the club is BBQ but hopefully none will arrive dressed as a sausage. This is not, after all a Merlin Rocket event.