Monday, 20 October 2014


I guess there is such a thing as too much fun.

It did however come as a surprise this morning. Yes, it has been a while
since we've sailed in any kind of wind, but between the dogs, the band
and karate, it's not as if I live an entirely sedentary lifestyle
despite the office job. However, everything aches just a little bit, my
legs ache quite a little bit more and my right elbow is killing me. The
elbow however was pre-existing, and has been playing up for some reason
for months now so doesn't really count. Everything else is a good,
self-satisfied kind of pain.

The results from yesterday were blighted somewhat by the amount of time
we spent in the water. There is no other way of looking at it, a boat on
her side is not a fast boat. An Enterprise on her side is slower than most.

For the first race we took 9th out of about 16 boats on the startline.
The one capsize, a visually dramatic event after I mismanaged a
particularly gusty, nasty gybe, knocked us back from a climbing position
hot on the tail of our friends and rival Enterprise 'Ghost' right to the
back of the fleet. Ghost finished in 4th. That said, we were not the
only Ent to capsize. The third one went in a little before us and then

Strengthening conditions saw only 8 boats dare the startline for the
second race. It became a game of attrition, the other two Enterprises
both retiring after capsize. We went over three times, all at speed on
the downwind legs, the once in a communal pile of boats at the bottom of
the run, which was quite entertaining. I couldn't help myself, and
called "windward" on them, but to be fair, there wasn't much they could
do as we were alll mast down in the churning water. Everybody was
grinning though.

Doesn't matter how practiced you are at it, the bottom line is that it's
slow to capsize an Enterprise. The boat swamps, and you've got to
laboriously sail the water out of the self-bailers and transom flaps.
It's quite a thing to watch, because as she picks up speed and the water
flushes out the back, she re-emerges from the depths like the Nautilus
rising. But it's slow. In a handicap fleet of mixed classes, the
singlehanders like the Lasers and Solos always get the upper hand; they
recover so much faster because they come up dry.

Three capsizes in, and I have to say the thought of retiring hadn't
crossed my mind. I'd like to say it was tenacity, grit and sheer
bloody-minded determination, and true, I think Patricia and I were
silently goading each other on, neither being willing to admit defeat
first. But actually, we were having too much fun. And some of those
planing, screaming reaches were to die for. Sheer spray-flumed,
terrifying exhilaration.

It wasn't a day to forget your wetsuit (I'd grabbed it off the hanger,
but just hadn't packed it, fool that I am) but aside from a few soggy
shivers between races and then later whilst putting the boat away, the
work kept me warm. The hot showers were very welcome after though.

I am going to fit a ratchet block onto the mainsail.

The photo at the top was from the evening before, on stage just as the
second set was about to start. Saturday night was a good gig. Been an
age since I last played in Cardiff. A joint 40th birthday party, a
lovely venue and the band seemed ideally suited for the audience.

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