Snitchy’s Dispatches.Hello again from Snitchy the RS Aero.
I’ve been home from the Nationals for a week now, basking in the short-lived glory of my Superstar Traveller status. Boat park fame is definitely enhanced by the display of exotic stickers, so I’ve had my rear cover hitched up on one side slightly to display my Chichester Harbour Federation permit.
I’ve also had the chance to show off my enhanced upwind boat speed skills in the 3 club races I’ve done this week – all in force 5 plus.
Our Wednesday evening race was a blustery number. The course featured short beats across the lake and a lovely long reach down the length of the lake. It was also perfect for the RS300, who proved too hard to catch. Three Finns came out to play; one got away, although I wasn’t too far behind at the finish. I held up the other two to finish ahead of them on the water and there was plenty of muttering about the unfairness of my handicap.
The light faded away early – a reminder of the end of our summer slipping away. Owner was wearing her new dayglow yellow Rooster Beanie, which I was finding hideously uncool until the light faded and she took on a glow of her own to get us back ashore. I can see the benefits of the RNLI being able to find us quicker if we have a fallout, though I worry about her being rounded mistakenly as a mark.
Our next windy races took place on Sunday. The Race Officer decided to cancel the tidal races planned, as the wind was already gusting 25 knots. Instead he set the races on the lake, where the wind was also gusting 25 knots.
It was a white-knuckle ride downwind to the start and only 5 fast handicap boats were game for a sprint; an RS 300, Albacore, Finn, Laser and Me.
The Course set was around Buoys D,F,A,C,I. As you may remember, the course holds a secret message about the way to sail the race. I did the translation for Owner;
Destroy Finn After Confirming Identity.
We identified the Finn as the one sailed by our Vice Commodore, so we out-started him, sailed over the top of him, beat him to the windward mark and the other 4 marks. You get my drift. We finished just behind the RS 300 and the Albacore.
The next race course was shown as the same; D,F,A,C,I.
Unfortunately, Owner (being blonde) messed up on the new translation, which meant;
Delete Flippin’ Aero, Commencing Immediately.
The Finn totally wiped out our start by powering away underneath us and then squeezing up to squirt filthy air all over my sail. I stalled and Owner spent the next few moments gasping for fresh air and trying to create a tack out of nothing. We were dead and buried folks.
We rounded the first mark in 3rd place, after watching the Albacore ping a forestay ligament and limp home. I blinked back the tears (yeah right) and continued to chase that Finn transom.
By this time, the tide had come over to join in and poured over the raised sea wall in big waves. This created an interesting counter slop, which made me feel a little strange and under-powered.
Owner was very busy with the downhaul adjustments upwind, after reading the Top Tips from our new Aero Champion Sam Whaley. It made a big difference – Thanks Sam!!
We gathered ourselves for a final blasting reach, but failed to catch the dastardly Finn.
It was a very exciting sail home, especially when I saw that the jetties had disappeared under the high tide. I sailed over one on my way in, just because I can.
Fortunately, my foils were up enough to avoid a flying trauma and we went back to the boat park to play the Cover Flipoff game that you humans so enjoy in a good breeze.
Big gales this week folks, so remember to tie us boats down or we’ll all be wearing Chichester Harbour stickers next week.
Until next time,