It's been a quiet winter on the water for the Sargent family. Seems like whenever there's been a chance to get on the water it's either been too windy, or one of us has been ill. I guess that's the payback for an autumn in which the kids were able to sail their Teras right out until 1 November. The weather has had other effects too. Last Friday a 5m high tide was topped with an 85cm storm surge/wave action and the sea ran in to the dinghy park at Thorney Island Sailing Club over the flood defences. The photo below
is taken just after the wind had stopped blowing F10, and after the first few inches had dropped.
The boats at the back were pretty close to floating out, and there was a lot of risk to boats that were tethered by the bow to their trollies, but had drifted off sideways. And some masts which had been dropped were lying between the boat and the trolley! It was amazing how many people gathered, and how quickly when the emergency email went out. And heart-warming to see how willing they were to get wet and cold, with a few spending about an hour and a quarter in water from knee to waist deep, and in some places right up the chest. I'm still getting a bit of a hard time for not nipping home to grab some of my Rooster gear to keep me warm, but time was off the essence if we were going to secure the boats before they were high and dry again.
Anyway it's an ill wind that blows no-one any good, and two old and creaky trees between our house and the boat park have been blown down, so we will find it easier with the kids Teras. I might just nip out and trim one more back so that I can get the 300 through mast up!
We have had some racing though: at the Grafham Grand Prix a 4000 which managed to lassoo us with its kite halliard spoilt our result but not our enjoyment.
Then the Bloody Mary yesterday was great fun, with beautiful weather and a F3 gusting F4. The system for dropping the boat off and rigging is so much better than when I did my first (but it should be after 23 years!), and its just amazing racing with so many boats. Such a good work out too, especially with so many tight, just kiteable reaches. Clare's arms were stiff this morning! But her hands had been toasty warm through out in her Rooster Aquapro Winter gloves. She's been saving these up for this winter, and they were really worth it: she's a complete convert, having not been able to stand fully enclosed fingers before now. It's much quieter in the boat when there's no complaining about her hands too!
Interesting too to see just how wind sensitive the PY system is. In the lighter winds mid race the lead 200s rocketed up to us out of nowhere, but then, with the breeze back on, we pretty much held the time and distance that they slipped ahead. We were pretty pleased with 56th, finishing in a tight little group behind Steve and Sarah in the Merlin, and Sam Mettam with Maria in the Miracle. It was nice to be near some Team Rooster friends at the end of a tiring two and a half hours.