Thunderbolts and Lightning; very very frightening…. Mama Mia, Mama Mia,
With a double-digit number of helms arriving at ASC early in the afternoon, in bright sunshine to ready their boats, their eagerness outstripped the capability of the scratch Duty Team, to ready Connie on the water, as they tempted Trevor the Trusty Tractor into trundling action. In that short interlude between setting the pin end of the start line and setting the start sequence in motion, the wind dramatically reversed direction and brought back the foreboding black clouds that had just blown overhead, to the East but this time returning with thunder rolled in to add to the palpable tension in the air. With incidents in the week involving a young soccer player in the North West and one involving an OK Sailor in Denmark, both of whom got struck by lightning, PRO Keith Adams applied ASC Safety Code #9 and postponed the start, until the threat of lighting had passed, with the frustrated sailors retreating to the shore and sort shelter from the rain. https://www.facebook.com/…/pcb…/4190203754325567/…
As ever in these occasions, the length of the delay cannot be predicted. For some helms the temptation of playing with their train sets, with their kids/grandkids proved a much more attractive option. Finally as the clock swept round closer to 3pm, the decision was made to sail two 45min races, with back-to-back starts. This time, having set the line, to face West to Buoy #1 and the start-sequence, eight boats got away on a clean, even start, with Bob Ceurstement taking first mark honours in his silky-smooth SuperNova. That was to be the last award of the first race to the faster boats, who all succumbed to the tantalising teasers who coped so much better with the lighter, shiftier, whispy wasps of breeze available. From Connie, it appeared as though the slower boats of Roger Day in his scavenging Gull, Jeff Marshall radiating in his Radial and Malcolm Davidson, cavorting in his laid-back style, aboard his Comet, were destined to pose on the podium.
The tension was clearly too much for Denis King, who concluded: once on his Streaker was enough on a day like today. So, with the start line re-set to face East towards Buoy #3, just seven sailors set off with slightly steadier zephyrs of breeze to send them on their way. This time the faster boats responded to the thrashing meted out to them by the slower boats in Race 1 with the Phantom of Kevin Milton taking first mark honours. For some strange reason Kevin then felt sailing behind the shadow of the islands to Buoy #8 via #6 was his favoured option. This allowed Bob Ceurstement and Andrew Goodman in their SuperNovas to narrow the gap. From Connie, it felt like Bob and Andrew are likely to be in the mix along with Kevin Milton’s Phantom on handicap, with the slower boats destined to share the remainder of the results record.
With the Trent Tripartite event being postponed to the Autumn due to COVID-restrictions, these races brought the Spring 1 Series to a conclusion. This correspondent’s prediction is that Kevin Last, following his highly unusual name-sake-like performance on Wednesday night, is hotly-tipped to have held on tightly enough in his absence, to prevent The Scavenger in his Gull from wrestling the trophy out of his grasp, with Kevin Milton (I don’t look at the results – Kev) picking up whatever crumbs those two have left behind, in third. Let’s see if these predictions are anywhere close to reality, once our Race Results recorder has fed today’s times into that marvellous sausage machine that is SailWave Scoring Software!