Report Written by Graham Jervis
Well what a day for sailing yesterday turned out to be! Malcolm and I discussed the forecasts indicating a drastic change of conditions by 1400hrs, and decided to go ahead with racing but with a return to the slipway recommended by 1300hrs. This was all because of Hurricane Leslie and its effect as it crossed the Iberian Peninsula. When we took the newly repaired and serviced Safety Boat out to deploy the buoys the wind was at the projected Beaufort f2 and the sea state quite flat. On our return to the slipway six boats were already rigging to be shortly joined by two more. Malcolm and myself walked back to the DP intending to join the fleet, but Malcolm withdrew with a leg injury and I was delayed rigging the Europe and was kindly assisted by John Piercy in towing it to the slip.
The wind was very slight for me and it took some time to clear the harbour to find a strong wind developing and a swell already in place well ahead of the forecast. I could make out the fleet grouped at the start if not already racing, and a fine site it looked too.
My own adventure began after several tacks when the rudder upload cord snapped and I was forced onto the first ‘mole’ of rocks. Unusually for me I didn’t have my radio and couldn’t see the Safety Boat to use my whistle. After a heart -wrenching series of graunches and the scraping of hull, rudder and dagger board against rock, a gust blew me back and I managed to jamb the rudder part way down. The Safety Boat crew had been busy helping Pete and Luca recover from their capsize in their FD, but I managed to attract them to come to my aid. A long story cut short, once the Safety Boat was docked alongside, I managed to secure the rudder fully down and proceeded to sail back to harbour, only to capsize on the run. (It was now blowing a good force 3+ gusts). There then followed a series of unsuccessful rightings including two turn-turtles, and ending with an exhausted me, downing the mainsail, attaching the Europe to the Safety Boat and boarding the Safety Boat. On return to the slipway, we found all boats returned and Andy and I went back out to pick up the buoys . The weather had developed and we had an ‘exhilarating’ ride on a very bumpy sea, with the wind now f4, and gusting well above that. We returned to find the splendid Dell who had waited for us and then towed the Safety Boat back to the Dinghy Park. Thanks for your patience Dell.
The Vision with the two Steve’s capsized but they righted themselves, and the already mentioned Flying Dutchman capsized. Well done you lot who didn’t! Some fine ‘craic’ ensued in ‘ La Oficina’ where, despite the heavy rain now falling, our daring-do’s were discussed with appropriate beverages!
Thanks to Andy and Laurie and all they did for all of us, yesterday! As the lead Safety Boat operator Andy Eaves did a magnificent job and remained calm and controlled in very challenging conditions. I’m glad you were there yesterday Andy!
Can I make a request for anyone who has a spare stop-watch that we can use for next Sunday? The club’s stop-watch was lost overboard, as was the racing results sheet, if in fact the race was completed? And…can I draw your attention to the fact that I am using a pro-forma for booking a Wayfarer, which you can request from me. I send these out immediately upon a request for a boat in order to be fair with bookings, – (its first –come, first- served by time of e-mail received starting at midnight Sundays.), requests for boats are increasing so get your request in asap! Both Wayfarers are now booked for next Sunday.
Please feel free to add your comments about yesterday’s experiences, it’s impossible for one person to see everything that happens!