Friday, 26 December 2014


It's been a good day. Christmas has been good.

Christmas Eve we went to midnight mass, first time since I was about fourteen. Enjoyed singing the carols, always do. Particularly enjoyed watching my brother-in-law doing his thing. He's training to be a vicar, so had a busy time of it.

Don't much care one way or another for the institution of religion, but I do admire conviction, when appropriately channelled. Jim is a good man who has been lucky to find his calling.

I'm sure he's going to do a lot of good before he's done.

Christmas Day was spent at Dad's with my brother and his wife; good food, lots to drink, lots of dogs underfoot. All as good as it could have been given the year we've had. Mum would have loved it.

This morning I overslept, but we still made it to the Club in time to rig Buffy for the start. Cold, dead calm, about a dozen boats on the water. Ben and I both bleary-eyed but quietly eager.

Ben took helm; he seemed to want it so I was quite happy to crew. We were about six seconds late over the line, but moving. Caught the Solos and a solitary Lightning before the first mark, average speed just over 1kt, water mirror smooth.

I figured the lack of any air would at least kill the Lasers, but could see Tony in his British Moth, late to the start, ghosting up through the fleet.

Surprisingly, one of the Lasers, helmed by a guy called Les, managed the drift amazingly well, and along with the Moth caught up enough to begin to give us problems.

About half way through, we were still holding them off until Tony rounded a leeward mark just behind us, tried to climb above, but in all the fuss, forgot to put his board back down and slid sideways into us.

By the time we'd untangled ourselves from his Moth, Les had capitalised on our misfortune and slid by.

We left Tony behind to take his penalty turns, caught up with Les by the final leeward mark of the course and did a fine job of overhauling him up the following beat. Then sailed too wide of the layline, foolishly heading for the red mark rather than the adjacent red-white.

So Les held on to his lead for a while longer.

By now Phil in his shiny new RS Aero was breaking through the fleet to threaten. It was looking pretty grim by the beat of the next lap.

The wind had filled in, the main pack of Lasers and Solos were abrading our slight lead on them andTony was now coming back hard from his earlier penance with the Moth.

We covered the Moth, the end of the race now getting close, ignoring the Laser and Aero as a lost cause. We tacked onto the port layline, having locked the Moth far out to the left, and checked under the sail to see if the other two were far enough ahead for us to be clear.

And witnessed Phil making our own mistake of the previous lap, busy sailing out to red, blissfully pinning poor Les out there with him.

With only minutes left to run, we gleefully retook the lead, and held onto it easily for the rest of the race to take it and the John Sanguin Cup as our prize

A fine morning's sailing, a range of different conditions and close racing through to the end.

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