Monday, 10 February 2014

Keeping it in the family

Going through the photos on my phone in an idle moment over lunch, and came across the above, from this year's Dinner Dance with the sailing club. And yes, we did actually arrive in time for supper in the end, with seconds to spare, and had a lovely evening.

After dinner, they presented all the glassware won by the various bodies over the course of last year. My own mug for 2014 had three 3rd places; the Spring Class, Spring Handicap and Winter Series respectively. Probably our best season to date.

I've taken 3rds and 2nds in class series in previous years, but because you're sailing against boats of your own type, the field of competition across such series is limited accordingly. Still nice beating (and more often, being beaten by) your peers, but a place in a class race will only be out of say, a dozen other friends and competitors.

The handicapped series however, which include the Winter series, are against the entire club, regardless of class, so to place in one of these is to place against a much wider field. Of course, what this means is that clearly, for the Spring and Winter series last year, the really good sailors elected to stay in bed.

I do, of course, in my mock humility risk being grossly unfair to all the other boats that raced against us. Bottom line is that I was especially pleased to get a place in two of the Club's general handicaps.

Anyway, I digress.

As the presentation ended, I breathed a sigh of relief. There is a particular trophy I've won before; the Capsize Trophy.

Club tradition states you can only ever win it once, but they've presented it to me twice now, so I wasn't terribly sure I could take shelter in the security of that particular knowledge. But the presentation ended, I had my glassware, and I'd seen no sign of the thing. All good.

And then I noticed Phil making his way over towards me from the trophy table with something in his hands. My heart sunk.

With a grin, obviously noting my discomfort, he reached me, handed it over and said "Would you mind taking this home for Ben?"

Clearly like father like son.

Apparently it was a very close run thing, with Hels and I in stiff contention for taking it away from him at the last moment, but in the end the result went in our favour and it went to the boy. They cited his efforts in October's Enterprise Open as the clincher. Apparently, it's been a while since somebody tried to actually sink an Enterprise on our lake, and his efforts in the subsequent races that day were not without some spectacular acrobatics themselves. Of which once such said instance, I'm clearly obliged to present photographic evidence of:

There is a final, delicious irony.

Although I had no hand in his near sinking in the first race of that day, I was Ben's crew for the remainder of that day, and for all of his capsizes subsequent to that first race, including the near miss pictured above.

Yes, near miss. We did actually recover from that one without going over. Needless to say, there are some benefits to all the practice we've had with irregular sailing angles.

As my first rule of any capsize is always to blame the crew, I guess it's fair to say I had no small part in the securing of the Capsize Trophy yet again for 2014.

But as helm, the final responsibility (and possession of the trophy) rests with Ben.

Damned proud of the boy!

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