Welcome back my new friends and followers, as I regale you with stories of awe and hardship.
Last weekend started with heartache and disappointment when Owner pitched up at the club with no sailing kit. I was about to write it off as a ditsy blonde error, when I realised that this omission was intentional, as she had seen the forecast with gusts of 30 knots predicted. She knew that if she brought her gear, I would entice her out there for a crazy foil screeching session, with possibly some capsizing and probably some inversions. Hell, Wales was directly downwind, and I may even have gone there without her.
I grumped a bit and flapped my cover at her in annoyance. “It’s still February Zippo, there’s plenty of time for all that” she said unconsolingly and went off to ogle at the handful of boats gathered on the slipway, preparing to race on the tide.
The Finn tried to launch but caught a rogue wave and slammed onto the tarmac on its fixed rudder, damaging the pintle. It returned to the boatpark for minor surgery. The ICanoe hoisted its sail to remove some seagull splatter from its mast track, promptly de-rigged and returned to the boatpark. The 49er spent some time partly rigged on the slip, missing the start and then was moved along by the RNLI who needed its parking space to launch for a shout (not one of our sailors thankfully). This left the superhero Oppie fleet and 2 hardy Laser Radials, which were last seen reaching off towards Wales, followed by wails from me, “wait for me guys!”.
Owner returned on Sunday morning, suitably dressed in aquatic attire. We set off downwind in a pleasant South-easterly breeze, with an RS300, a Finn, a Laser and an Albacore. On the first upwind leg, it became apparent that the South-easterly was not quite so pleasant, as it puffed through the town, blasted down some streets and slammed onto the lake in a rude and explosive manner. More weekend heartache ensued when I realised that the course was sadly lacking any exciting, manic reaches (which are my absolute favourite). There was one diddy reach at the end of each lap – short enough for Owner to hold her breath for quite comfortably, and long enough for me to lurch into the air and attempt to make the whole thing in hovercraft mode. The rest of the race was a hard slog in shifty squalls upwind, followed by a dead downwind, squally run, which Owner tried to sail flat and I succeeded in sailing tipped up on my ear with my boom soaring skywards. Well, she just doesn’t appreciate how Fast that is yet. It got a little dicey when we had to cross through the University Team Racingmatch. I had no idea what they thought they were doing, but they were very hittable. I resisted the urge and we finished the races with no incidents. We even came home together and that’s a good day, right Owner?
Until next time, stay upright and keep breathing, Zippy Zero.