Race Officer's Report
The last two Laying-Up Races have been affected by adverse weather but this year the gentle easterly breeze tempted 18 boats to the race course. The club was also supporting the Bart’s Bash global event and this probably encouraged some to join in. I don’t have records going back to the first Laying-Up Race in 1988 but during my membership the turn-out has been 14 on two occasions and 17 in 2001.
Fewer competitors dressed up this time. Tilly (Val and Barry Edgington) won the John Hodgson Cup for best dressed boat and crew. Their IC flags, “ITSANO” really hit the spot! We didn’t really need to see their kilts and Tam-o’-Shanters to guess the theme. They weren’t the only ones with the week’s momentous events on their minds. Alexis had a nice play on words with “You tak the No road and we’ll tack up the Carrick Roads”. Also well executed and very well presented and just 5 points adrift. Aura had a large family crew brightening the scene with their Hawaiian shirts and Wizard, minus the owner, did a splendid job in grass skirts and trailing palm treas. Becquerel (Malcolm and Sue Clark) got us thinking. We correctly identified the Cuban flag and identity of his character but we had to wait for Malcolm to explain “Granma” was the yacht in which Che Guevara and Castro sailed to Cuba in 1956 with 82 revolutionaries.
With the majority of boats just concentrating on achieving good time points without the distraction of any fancy dress there was likely to be a close finish. We weren’t disappointed! Four boats approached Greatwood mark looking to be on target for a 12.30 finish. Aura and Noon Hi, both fast boats with tall rigs slightly miscalculated and elected to slow down by steering zig-zag courses and letting their headsails fly occasionally. Did they think we wouldn’t notice? Meanwhile Roxanne and Beez Neez appeared to be sailing “normally” (or if they weren’t it was well disguised) Jeanette counted down the seconds and at 12.30.00 they both crossed the line! Congratulations to both crews. However, from a high fly bridge not much escapes the RO’s notice and after checks on starting times and technique rounding marks Tu and Jb the Laying-Up Race Cup was awarded to Beez Neez.
Very well done to all 18 competitors. Thank you for making the effort to participate and I hope that in the future whenever we are fortunate to get favourable weather the turn-out will be equally impressive.