Racing Thwarted 5/11/2017

Why is it that some days, nothing goes right?  In fact virtually everything goes wrong!  Today started on an ominous note with a forecast of very light off shore winds.  In reality the wind at 11:00 was quite strong, northerly, but later on moved around to the west.

David and John took the Safety Boat out to set up the buoys for racing.  The rest of us were in La Oficina drinking coffee and trying to decide how strong the wind was going to get.  Little did we know about the struggle going on aboard the Safety Boat.  After a sharp turn of the boat the outboard motor had become detached from the transom of the boat!  If it wasn’t for David’s quick thinking and hanging onto it, the entire engine could have been lost at sea.  After quite a struggle they managed to reattach the motor temporarily, sufficiently well to limp back to the shore.  Eventually we all helped out and put the boat back on it’s trailer and after much huffing, puffing and straining, managed to remove the engine completely so that the top rail on the transom could be repaired.  With the use of David’s toolkit, John’s expert use of the hammer and Jim’s supply of handy screws, the job was soon done and the engine remounted.

At this point I thought that’s it, all plain sailing now.  Pushing my boat off the road trailer I then discovered a flat tyre on the launching trolley so then had to set about pumping the tyre up.  Fortunately it stayed inflated.  Four boats set out to sail, Nick and Paula in the Vision, Jim and David in the Wayfarer Dave and Derek in the Express and Malcolm in the Vareo.  Being last to leave I was really pleased to see Lynne on the slipway who helped me by taking my launching trolley so I could concentrate on keeping the boat the right way up!  Arriving at the start line, I could only see two buoys and no sign of the third buoy or the safety boat.  John and Iris were out at sea retrieving the third buoy which had drifted way out to sea.  Fortunately Lee Sales had spotted it whilst out in his yacht and had informed John.

A decision was taken to start a four lap race using two buoys sailing a figure of eight to give us tacking and gybing practice.  The first lap was slow, the second lap was deadly slow in fact the wind just died.  Becalmed – Nick and Paula decided to retire.  I chose to continue as the wind seemed to be building and to have turned through 180 degrees.  The next thing I knew it was blowing really hard and southerly with huge gusts. After completing three laps I decided survival was the most important factor and headed back to the slipway.  At this point Jim decided it was time to head for home as well.  So no race results today but all four boats and the Safety Boat returned safely with all three racing buoys secured.

I guess it was just one of those days!  Thanks to everyone for helping out today.


Malcolm Kaye

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