Wednesday was our first trip out on Ariadne’s Clew for a few weeks. After completing the Crown Series in February the boat had been sitting idle. Derek has been overseas for work, and with Tim busy or unavailable I hadn’t ventured out. But this week I was determined to have a go, even with a small crew of only three strong young men. My trusty old hands Tim and Willem, and their friend Steve, who hadn’t been out with us for a number of years.
When we arrived at the boat we discovered the sail-maker had been to replace our old torn and worn boom bag with a new one! Another expense to keep the boat looking neat and trim.
We motored out and hoisted the sail… wait lads! Stop! I spotted the halyard was twisted around a lazy-jack, and we dropped the sail again, narrowly avoiding a nasty jam. Willem and Tim fixed the problem, and with the sail up we buzzed around the start line in a steady ten knots of wind waiting for our signal. Being second division to start it’s good form to stay away from the start area until division one begin, giving us five minutes to get in position for our start. But I was late turning around, and we found ourselves a long way from the line just as the wind dropped! No motoring within 5 minutes of the start, so we crept painfully towards the line, finally crossing (red faced) well behind all the other boats.
From there things looked up, and we sailed a good tactical race. The fact we were behind meant nobody got in our way, no time wasted luffing or ducking or tacking unnecessarily, and two clean mark roundings. Our race was shortened – the days are getting shorter and we need to finish before dark. We were assisted by a hole in the wind at Bellerive Bluff, which caught quite a few boats unawares. We saw them becalmed, almost on the rocks, and steered wide to stay in the edge of the breeze, catching up and even overtaking a number, including Silicon Ship, with Willem’s Dad on board.
A very pleasant evening on the water, even if the result was not so wonderful! 13th over the line and 13th on handicap. With only one race left in the series we are sitting near the bottom on 14th place, and unlikely to rise! There is hope though, for the final race of the women’s series coming up soon…