Cowboy Rope Skills – Enterprise Report 2012-06-13
The star of tonight’s race was Peter and Harrison (age 11) who pulled off some audacious moves. Despite a forecast of a dying wind there was a good 10 knot South Easterly which picked up as the boats launched for the race. The course tonight was Ash, Inflatable Buoy, South Mallard, West Mallard.
The start line was straight across the Cattewater to the end of Mountbatten Breakwater providing a reaching start to Ash Buoy off the Waterfront restaurant. Peter started mid line and was off like a red rocket, partly due to the lightweight crew, partly due to a red boat. Martin, Rob and Dave were closely bunched behind.
Bantam weight is all good fun on the run but it’s a different story upwind. Peter and Harrison had a big lead around the first mark but then had to to spill a lot of wind up the beat. They lost out to the heavyweights of the Spoon and No Handles (with nails apparently) who were able to stay fully powered up and punch through the nasty chop. All the boats took a tack South out into the ebb tide and then across to the inflatable buoy south west of South Mallard. By the blow up buoy the Spoon had overhauled the skittish Different Shade followed by No Handles and Hell Bent. All but the Spoon were involved in a number of port/starboard calls, including Dave who, despite being slightly behind, was still calling anybody on port.
At the start of the second lap it was Spoon followed by Different Shade, No Handles and Hell Bent. Due to the consistent tide and wind patterns the best route around the course was the same for the remaining laps so it was a question of keeping your nose out of trouble and staying dry. This is something Peter and Harrison established through experiment. Lying in second place their tack by the windward mark included the often problematic jammed lazy sheet situation from which the red rocket got dunked. Whilst capsized the main sheet lassoed the windmark making the righting all the more exciting. After some hot-house training from the Hugh Spencer sailing school (DSSA) Harrison took this all in his stride and they got the boat around another lap.
Up the front the positions and gaps between stayed more or less consistent to the end.
We had a top night’s sailing in lovely warm weather with a good steady breeze. The conditions are less benign for the boats doing the passage race to the Yealm this weekend. Good luck!