Wednesday, 3 September 2014


It's Wednesday, so in keeping with our habit of recent months, Ben and I
are planning to slip out of the office half an hour early today to head
to the Club for the Wednesday evening race.

As mentioned previously, the forecast was never promising. It seems to
have delivered as promised as you can see from the above, the one image
being a shot from the webcam a few minutes ago, and the other being the
Club's weather station.

The water is mirror smooth, and the forcast suggests what wind there is
will drop further as the day wears on. Moreover, with that much east in
it, any life that might have been in the air when it started will have
been spun around and sucked out by the landmass it's had to travel over
to reach us.

I quite enjoy racing in drift conditions, especially aboard Buffy. The
race becomes much more of a mental challenge, a chess game of patience,
balance and fine tuning, momentum and inertia, where fighting to break
free of the pack into clean air is the key to everything, everything to
be lost or won on the slightest mistake or inelegance of boat handling.

I often do quite well in the light stuff, but I'd suggest that this
isn't because I avoid the mistakes or possess any great elegance of
helmsmanship, but because I'm a relative lightweight myself, and other
folks are as prone to all the little screw ups as I am. I've noticed
that the guys that inevitably win are the old hands that have been
racing since the cradle and simply don't screw up any more.

All that aside, it's always amazed me how little pressure it takes to
make 207lbs of wooden hull (plus rig and crew) ghost silently over
glassy water.

Mind you, Ben's at Buffy's helm tonight, so we shall have to see how
elegant his ghosting will be.

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