It did not look like good sailing weather when I arrived at the RBYC - “glassy” was a good term for the water in the harbour, and the forecast variable 0-5 knots usually means little or no wind. The wind direction was moving to the north. The crews rigged up, with many skippers loosening shrouds and wishing their crews were a few pounds lighter. As we headed out for the sound the RC tender came past with good news - there was breeze in the Great Sound. The RC set a course with Cleo towards Lantana and the weather mark up towards Course Bravo and Spanish Point. They had 60 degrees as the course and no offset mark today. The first race of the day was to be a 2 lap affair. The start line looked to be pin favoured, and watching Peter Bromby in the Etchells defending the pin end at the start of the Etchells race certainly reinforced that opinion. Our first start was relatively clean. A flag went up (a bit late) but no boats went back. We were heading left with a number of other boats as some broke right. The left side of the course had good speed, and we were racing alongside Rudy Wolfs (CAN5078), Mike Lewis on Erin and Nick Bell on Jezebel. Once we tacked onto port we started seeing some favourable lifts towards the weather mark. At the first rounding we were in front, but only just. Behind us the fleet split, some gybing early and others staying out right, making it difficult to cover. The breeze, although fairly light, was much more consistent than it had been the day before. As we rounded the leeward mark we managed to put some space between us and the rest of the fleet. The next upwind saw the fleet go left and right, but the left still looked good. Rudy Wolfs was close by, and New Wave and Siren were battling it out. At the weather mark rounding we were still in front, but CAN5078 were hot on our heels. New Wave and Siren had both gybed early. As we raced down to the finish the breeze dropped out slightly, and a couple of poor gybes close to the line let Rudy and crew sneak in ahead of us. Trevor Boyce took third with Scott Snyder taking fourth. Erin rounded out the top 5 positions. Jezebel were the boat deemed over early which was unfortunate as they had sailed well throughout. As we had our lunch the RC put up a 3 lap course for the afternoon race. Some dark clouds crept overhead and it became a bit chilly (for Bermuda). The second race saw a good clean start. Some boats broke right early, including us, but we tacked back onto the left side. At this stage we were tenth. But the left side paid off again and when we tacked onto port we had made up 4 or 5 boats. Sean McDermott was making up for his eighth position in the previous race by putting water between Moxie and the chasing fleet. Behind, Rudy Wolfs, Erin, New Wave and Siren were all looking good, as was Jezebel. At the first weather mark rounding the Canadian boat of McDermott was in front. The downwind saw some position consolidation. The next upwind caused some major consternation as a local fishing boat cruised through the middle of the race course at top speed. The leaders tacked in the wake, and allowed the chasing boats to catch up slightly. Now Jezebel dropped off slightly to leave Moxie, Centipede, Erin and ourselves out front. The second downwind did not see any major position changes at the front, but the next upwind saw Siren (Scott Snyder) and local boat New Wave make massive gains on the leading pack. As we rounded the mark Jo Lord shouted “look at that water spout” - there it was, lurking down at the finish. We slowed into a beam reach, allowing Erin to gain ground, and New Wave and Siren to grab even more back. At the finish Sean McDermott crossed in front of Rudy Wolfs, with us and Erin sailing into the water spout on the line, causing some nervous moments with chute. Erin just pipped us, and we looked back to see New Wave and Siren charging into the spout as well with chutes being caught up in it. Jezebel had a good seventh behind those boats. We cruised back into the RBYC and the sun came out - perfect timing for the dock party. Several cocktails later I headed for home, and this morning I cannot determine whether the Gripper Gonad, the Dusty Crack or the Screaming Siren gave me this headache. Maybe it was the combination of all of the boat drinks - one thing is for sure, Jezebel won the most hideous drink prize with their “Round de Vurld” concoction..
Archive for April, 2003
Monday of IRW 2003 and the forecast looked good. No sign of thunderstorms or optis, which always bodes well for racing. The winds were light and coming out of the South West. We motored out to the sound and watched the RC set up the course with the windward mark out towards Lantana, and the offset mark half a mile away from that. The J24s were third off. We watched with interest as the 105s and the Etchells classes got underway. Then it was time for us to join the fun. It was a course 2. The first start was clean - some boats went left, some right and some down the middle. Ken Clarke on Tempest looked fast early on, as did Gripper (Rikki Hornett) and New Wavve (Trevor Boyce). Sean McDemott was also trucking along nicely on Moxie. At the first mark (rounding?) there were 3 Bermuda boat in the mix as Erin had agained good ground, and the downwind allowed them to consolidate. At the mark it was New Wave, Gripper, Erin, with a fast charging Sean McDemott the first of the overseas boats round. Behind them was a good bunch including the San Franciso girls, Rudy Wolfs, Solaise and Scott “Siren” Snyder. The second upwind saw the breeze (what there was of it) drop off and become shifty. New Wave used this to good advantage and put some space between themselves and the fleet. Behind, Sean McDermott was reading the shifts well and was starting to threaten the other 2 Bermuda boats, Erin and Gripper. The last downwind had many choosing to gybe after rounding the offset. It did not look like a good decision until those boats were 300 yards from the finish - much to our consternation on Solaise. New Wave crossed the line first, followed by Gripper then Sean McDermott. Erin were fourth, with Rudy Wolfs and team on Centipede grabbing fifth spot. Scott Snyder rounded out the top six. We then had a break for sandwiches whilst the sun shone. Where better to be on a Monday afternoon than sailing in Bermuda? The second race saw the RC post a 3 lapper. The breeze had increased to a massive 6.1 knots at this stage. We watched the 105s and Etchells do their stuff, then wound up for our start. And what a start ! I think Sean McDermott started it off by heading another boat up at the Committee Boat. This caused others to look at the gaps and sail into them, but just a bit too quickly. We were going at full speed 2 boatlengths from the start line with 2 seconds to go - the problem was that half the boats around us were as well and we could not peel off. At the gun I think there were 6 boats at least 3 boatlengths over the line - general recall - thanks RC! The second start was much cleaner. New Wave tacked right early, and Tempest with Ken Clarke driving were looking strong. The lefties looked to be taking some chances. As we forged our way upwind, we traded tacks with Scott Snyder. Sean McDermott was making great gains closer to the mark, and was first round. Close behind were Trevor Boyce, Solaise, Scott Snyder, Rudy Wolfs and the San Francisco girls. Fortunately for most of those boats, our first downwind was not too great, and at one stage we were fighting with Peter Bromby for room at the mark. So at the start of the next upwind we were around sixth spot. Sean and Trevor looked to be getting a slight lead on the fleet. There were a few boats making good speed up the port layline, including us until we had to duck massively to avoid a J105 coming across on starboard - that delayed second start had mixed the fleets up a bit. Sean had again had a great upwind along that port layline and was looking good for first at this stage. Second was being closely contested at this stage. We traded tacks with Nadine & crew and rounded the marks in third or fourth. It was about halfway down the course that half the boats remembered it was a 3 lap race and promptly readjusted their courses and mindsets. The final up and down saw the breeze drop slightly. Those who went left made great gains again in 20 degree lifts. The last downwind saw some gybe early to get out of traffic (wise), and others do the opposite. Sean and Trevor were clear of 4 boats - Rudy, Scott, Nadine and us. The rest of the fleet was hot on our transoms. Rudy and Scott went left, as did Nadine. We stayed right, and ended up in gybe wars with Ken Clarke on Tempest, allowing Nadine to beat us to the finish. Sean was first, New Wave second, with Rudy pipping Scott Snyder for third. This puts Trevor Boyce in top spot after day one of racing. Sean McDermott id second, with Rudy Wolfs in third. Then it was back to the RBYC for a leisurely few beverages on the dock, in preparation for the dock party on Tuesday.
Saturday saw the boat draw and the weigh ins, with some surprising results - one crew were only 0.6kg off the 400kg limit with 5 crew (must be professionals, or just lucky) , and another were only 5kg off with 4 crew (we all know who they were). Anyway, the boat draw results were as follows: Rudy Wolfs (Canada) - Centipede Ken Clarke (Canada) - Tempest Judy Bullmore (Cayman) - Sadiiqi Scott Snyder (USA) - Siren Nadine Franczyk (USA) - Sliding Bye Sean McDermott (Canada) - Moxie The local participants were as follows: Trevor Boyce - New Wave Mike Lewis - Erin Rikki Hornett - Gripper Nick Bell - Jezebel Neil Redburn - Solaise We also had guest stars Geoff & Wendy Evelyn as crash boat crew for the week, with David Friend stepping up heroically at the last minute to provide crash boat after some mechanical difficulties with the original boat . The rest of Saturday saw some performance tuning, some winching and some drinking, most of which took place at the Welcome Cocktail Party at the RBYC in the evening. On Sunday (day one of racing) there was miserable weather to greet the all competitors upon their arrival at the RBYC. So much for sunny Bermuda. The forecasted 20-30 knots out of the south today looked to be somewhat accurate - it was certainly quite breezy in the harbour, and those skies looked a bit menacing. The RC briefing mentioned offset marks (O) and talked about the thunderstorms which were supposed to come over in the afternoon. The J24s all rigged up and decided to follow the RC Boat Cleopatra out to the Great Sound to see how bad it all really was, followed by the 105s. After all, this looked like regular Saturday Sailing weather. For some of the overseas crews it was the first real chance to get the sails up on their boats and see how they went. For others it was a chance to see what they could break. Cleo parked in just short of Pearl Island and the RC looked at the weather. We all did the same. Some brave souls ventured out into the sound with sails up. There was very little chop but the gusts were good. After 45 mins the RC decided to cancel the sailing for the day - probably most fortunate for Guy Kelly on Erin, who had thought it was just a practice day anyway, and for last year’s J24 winner Jim Burns, who this year was helming J105 Joji (traitor!!!) and experienced some breakages whilst practicing. So it was back to the RBYC for lunch and beverages, where we watched the rain sheet in. According to Mr Rance, who has been driving the RC boat for Race Week for 26 years, this was the first time he could remember that Racing had been cancelled on day one of the regatta. So we all get the chance to try again tomorrow. And yes, the Optimists went out sailing.
Wind - what wind? It looked like it was going to be one of those days… the forecast was 20-30 knots, with the current observation being 12? We got the old jib out and looked at the wind in the harbor. It was certainly going to be an interesting day on the water. First of all, I have to say best wishes to Chris Regan for keeping the blood donors and doctors on the island busy with his little “accident” last Sunday. Get well soon, Chris. Bill P was on the dock at the RHADC with some extra ballast for one of the boats - it looked as if Cyclone were not going out unless Pollett senior could fob off Pollett junior onto an unsuspecting Sadiiqi crew. We certainly did not need the extra weight with Rob “pinkie” Salmon guest starring on Solaise . As we got outside Two Rock it became apparent that the jib was here to stay which was a pity because we had our spangly new genoa on board ready for action. The whitecaps were making an appearance , and so was Neil’s “special” hat - don’t you all wish you had one? Not quite as nice as my “banzai” bandana, It has to be said. The RC had posted a traditional 2 lap event, and without further ado we watched the Etchells sail off into the wind. Our first start saw us heading off cleanly keeping up with the usual suspects. Centipede was going well, as was Erin. The first mark rounding saw Mayhem round first closely followed by Sadiiqi who had come in on port layline. Erin and Solaise were next; with Centipede, Tempest and Jezebel close behind. The last downwind saw little In term of position changes, and that is pretty much how it remained -with Mayhem, Sadiiqi then Erin taking the gun. we managed to grab a good fourth behind the fast closing fleet. Race two saw another clear start, and again we sailed left when we really wanted to go right. Mayhem (snore) were again in the lead, with the black pig following close behind. Erin and us were fighting it out for third and fourth, and the next mark rounding saw us squeeze in front of them to grab spot #3 -which is where we stayed until the end of the race. So that meant that Mayhem had a 1-1, Sadiiqi a 2-2 Erin a 3-4 and Solaise a 4-3. In the series this was significant as it meant that the last race would be very instrumental in deciding whether we would beat Erin. We waited for a course change and the breeze Increased to an estimated 22 knots according to the patent Quinn nipple-ometer which was of course under 3 layers of clothing at this point. The third start was a real humdinger -Mayhem and Solaise were at the pin end with Jezebel getting a bit stuck in traffic.Sadiiqi looked to do well near Cleopatra and Erin went off sailing some hot angles. The first mark rounding saw a bit of a flurry as chutes went up and the breeze kicked in. We went charging back up the course, with Mayhem and Sadiiqi fighting it out just ahead of a fast-charging Erin. Sadiigi had led from the Start and were just slightly ahead of Mayhem, but it was close. We were back in spot #4 and having fun. The next leg saw Ransdale and crew consolidate their slim lead on John Corless and hold it to the finish. Mayhem were second, with Erin third and us in fourth. So with Race Week fast approaching Mayhem look to have sealed another victory with Sadiiqi nipping at their heels. Erin take 3rd overall with Solaise getting a great fourth. Who says the author is biased? One too many soups later it was time to go home.
After a long winter, the memories came flooding back reminding me why we like to sail in Bermuda in the summer. A light breeze (between 8 and 15 knots SSW) and glorious sunshine (72 degrees) greeted the fleet as they headed out to the Great Sound (past a Misubishi whose driver obviously likes the water so much that they had driven through the wall on Harbour Road and into the harbour). There was a good turnout again - the Cyclone boys were taking the day off, but Duct Tape and Centipede (with a nice red bottom) joined the fray, along with the usual suspects. Solaise was sporting new sails and a new mast, which our crew were repeatedly stroking in awe - “Isn’t it shiny!”, “You mean the vang works?” and “Now we have no excuse” were some of the comments expressed. Crew members were being shuffled in preparation for the fast approaching Race Week, and you could sense the anticipation as we waited for our start sequence without the need for wet weather gear. Course 2 was the surprise choice for racing today, and we watched Bermuda’s olympic star Peter Bromby set off before us in the Etchells. Our first start was even, with the fleet splitting after about 20 boatlengths. We went right with a number of boats and watched Sadiiqi lead the lefties. At the first mark Mayhem were round first, closely followed by Sadiiqi, who squeezed in on port just in front of us. Erin were hot on our heels. The first downwind saw little change in term of positions, and the next upwind was the same. The final downwind saw Erin gybe early round the mark and outrun us to the line, which meant they snatched third behind Mayhem (1) and Sadiiqi (2). Ann Symons was onboard Mayhem today, obviously giving away all the Ramsdale secrets to Jon & Todd. Race two saw another clean start by all. We went right early on, and managed to catch a good shift, which meant we tacked across the rest of the fleet on starboard. Theonly boat ahead of us at the upwind mark was Mayhem. Sadiiqi and Erin were behind us, as was Duct Tape - sailing fast. The first downwind of this race saw the breeze drop off slightly and some positions change, and the next upwind saw us heading left and coming into the mark on port layline. As we trucked in we watched in amazement as Jezebel miscalculated a crossing manoevre and forced Sadiiqi (on starboard) to crash tack. The Jezebelles did their turns, which put them out of contention for the remainder of the race, and gave us a slight edge over Sadiiqi. The final downwind saw Mayhem consolidate their lead and Solaise cross in second before a fast closing Sadiiqi. Race three saw a beauty of a start. Sadiiqi managed to stall a number of boats at the RC boat, leaving 4 J24s to start normally ignoring all the mayhem & anarchy (or maybe just mayhem) behind. Centipede had a great start, carving up the line until the gun went, and Solaise and Sadiiqi were also clear. Jezebel managed to avoid most of the traffic jam and snuck inside the comittee boat to get a good start which they consolidated on by tacking right almost immediately. Mayhem, the series leaders at this stage, were doing turns on the line. The first mark rounding saw Sadiiqi, Erin and Jezebel all in the mix. Mayhem were coming up through the fleet fast. The next upwind and downwind saw Mayhem grab two more spots, so at the finish it was Erin, Sadiiqi, then Mayhem. So Mayhem look to be series leaders with a 1-1-3. Sadiiqi have a 2-3-2 and Erin a 3-4-1 Thanks mainly to the superior skills of the crew rather than the new mast and sails, Solaise finished off the day with a 4-2-6. All results are unofficial. Then we headed back to the RHADC to relax in the sun with loudmouth soups. The perfect end to a perfect day.
The term applied to the method of affixing a sheet or halyard to the deck using the derriere of a crew member. As in: “Who has put a bottom cleat on the spinnaker sheet?”
1) Any boat over 2 feet in length.
2) The skipper of any such craft.
3) Any body of water.
4) Any body of land within 100 yards of any body of water.