Friday 26 April 2024

SCSC: hotdogs & trophy races

I had my first swim of the year last Sunday. It was a trophy race at South Cerney, so four races in total, two back to back in the morning followed by two back to back in the afternoon. The forecast was for around 10 to 15 knots across the day, but gusty. A partially cloudy day, with a bit of sun breaking through, the temperature was around 10°c but the northerly wind was decidedly chill.

I chose to sail the Laser's standard rig. 

The first capsize came in race 2. I rounded the leeward mark, and hardened up just as a big gust slammed through. Before I could react to spill the wind, the boom had hit the water. It was a painfully gradual affair, but, hiked out as hard as I could be at the start of proceedings, it was easy to roll over the gunwale and straight onto the dagger-board, and so stayed dry and recovered quite quickly. 

Not without losing about five places though, as the rest of the fleet sailed past.

The second capsize, later that day came in race 4, and was a much wetter affair. Rounding the same mark  as before and hardening up onto the beat all seemed to be going well. Tack to starboard to get out into the clearer air away from the shore, a header, tacked back to port. A gust, hike out hard. 

And the wind simply stopped.

Taken somewhat by surprise I was a little slow to pull my weight back in, so the boat toppled back on top of me. Knowing we were past the point of no return I slid out into the water, then tried to kick my way back aboard, putting as little weight onto the boat as possible, but over she came.

It was as gradual and as inevitable a capsize as the previous one, but this time I was left to ignominiously swim around the aft of the toppled craft and pull myself up out of the water and onto the dagger-board to right her.

If there was any consolation, it was that the water was probably warmed that the wind-chill.

Wednesday evening's Hotdog was a much more civilised affair. Amanda and I raced the Albacore. Despite the light conditions of the evening, northerly at 5 knots, it was a very good turnout, with a fleet of 26 boats on the start-line. 

A downwind start, we managed it beautifully, albeit not over the line too soon only by the skin of our teeth and more luck than judgement. We cleared the first mark easily ahead of everybody else, but three downwind legs followed by a very starboard biased single beat back through the following fleet to windward meant that everybody else sat on our wind for three quarters of the course meant that we couldn't escape the lighter, smaller boats, so finished 7th after handicap.

Still, it was a lovely evening in good company. And we cleanly beat all my friends in the Laser fleet, and most of the Solos.

On the home-front, Tash was discharged from hospital on Wednesday, whilst the twins still have a few weeks to go. She came home for a few hours, but they found her a room in the neo-natal unit that's looking after the boys, so she was able to move straight back to them and will be able to stay until they're ready to come home too.

They've had a very rough couple of days, both not keeping their food down and both losing a little weight, along with jaundice and concerns about their potassium levels that the doctors seem unable to explain but are working to address. They're in the best place, being well looked after, and their mum is with them.

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