Monday, October 10, 2016
October the first, a new month, and a new Squib Inland Championships at Rutland Sailing Club. Some might argue that it was indeed the 21st Squib Inlands, given that last year's championship was lost to brilliant sunshine and zipadeedooda wind, but I was reliably informed that this year was indeed the 22nd Squib Inlands. No debate.
Those that had the pleasure of sunbathing on the shores of Rutland Water during last year's Inlands must surely have had a sinking, déjà vu-esque feeling on arriving at RSC on Saturday morning. Yep you've guessed it, brilliant sunshine and arguably less than zipadeedooda in the way of wind but, unlike last year, the forecast did offer some hope.
The optimistic amongst the crews had diligently launched by 10am, whilst the rest of us enjoyed another cuppa and possibly a second, albeit cheeky, bacon sandwich on the sailing club terrace and debated whether Aquabat had indeed moved a whole boat length during the past 5 minutes or not. But slowly and surely fingers of wind began to tickle the waters and we all drifted off to our boats, today we would surely have some racing!!
By the time your scribe had muddled his way to the start area in the main pond, a relatively (and I use that word very specifically) steady easterly breeze had filled in, gusting (and I use that word with my tongue firmly in my cheek) somewhere between 3 and 6 knots. Light it was but steady enough for the PRO to set the usual triangle 'n' sausage course and dare to fire the start gun.
The first race of the Championship, as it so often does, established the pecking order for the whole event, with our National Champions, Nigel and Jack Grogan winning by a comfortable margin but with Bryan and Jenny Riley well in the mix in 4th place.
Amazingly Race 1 had gotten under way without the need for the PRO to resort to punitive start flags, possibly involving the colour black. It was a long day Friday and many had driven for a good few hours, so perhaps we were all a little sleepy, but by Race 2 the beast had awoken. After the first general recall the PRO opted to fly Flag U, which is a new introduction to the ISAF Racing Rules from next year onwards, and certainly the first time I had come across it. Essentially it is the same as the Black Flag, in as much as if you are in the triangle formed by the ends of the line and the windward mark, inside one minute before the start, you are disqualified from the race. EXCEPT, unlike a Black Flag, if the race is subject to a general recall, or is cancelled or abandoned for any reason, the disqualification does not stand. U Flag is like a Black Flag then, only with a bit of compassion!
After the starting shenanigans we all got underway and the Rileys got underway better and quicker than everyone else, going on to win the race and to establish their claim to the title Inland Champions, although with the Grogans in second, there was still much work to be done.
During Race 2 the rain had sadly arrived and the wind shifted from the East to NE, making the course somewhat processional and resulted in the PRO calling time on the race a lap or two early. The wind then continued to dance between NE and E making the PRO's job about as pleasurable as the proverbial stubbed toe. At last we got underway, off a difficult line, but given the conditions and the chill, all were happy to finally be racing and surprisingly the wind steadied and the course remained a good one throughout the duration of the race. The Grogans claimed another victory and with it a fairly dominant overnight position, posting 1,2,1, whilst their main protagonists, the Rileys, snatched the bronze in the race, leaving their tally for the day at 4,1,3.
The evening's festivities were tempered by the sad news of the passing, earlier in the week, of Chris Hogan. Chris was an exceptional sailor, winning 7 Squibs Nationals and 3 Squib Inlands, as well as victories in a number of other classes. He was also an absolute gentleman and this can perhaps best be summed up by the words of a many time co-ordinator of this event: 'Do you know what Simon, every year Chris always came up to me, quietly and with no fuss and expressed his thanks to all those involved and just how much he enjoyed these events'. All our thoughts are surely with his wife Alison and his son and crew Mark.
Sunday dawned and the wind filled in quickly and all were eager to get afloat ASAP. For those of us in the West Creek this proved somewhat difficult, being as we had no ferry, whilst those in the East Creek enjoyed an almost limousine experience, being serviced by at least 3 craft. The commandeering of a spare rib (a boat, not an item from a Chinese takeaway), by our Class Chairman, Steve Warren Smith and all were soon afloat.
Sunday's racing was excellent! Sun, good winds and good courses, with races lasting a good hour for the majority. Of course there was the usual over enthusiasm on the line and both races needed the Black Flag to get started but thereafter the racing was mighty fine. Dave Best and Pete Richards broke yesterday's duopoly and claimed the victory in Race 4 and whilst the Rileys slipped outside the top 10, the Grogans maintained their romp with a deserved third place. Everyone was delighted that Dave had been able to make the race, given the rumours that the Rutland Constabulary were seeking his company in relation to a recent case of breaking and entering (he broke the RSC entry barrier) but Dick Batt managed to calm the situation by offering to post the requisite 797 tubs of barrier cream as bail.
With the Championship in the bag, the Grogans had the luxury of opting for an early haul-out, as opposed to sailing the final race. This left the path clear for the Rileys to claim their second victory of the weekend and with it the runners up slot overall, whilst Dave 'the barrier beast' Best and Pete Richards bagging the final place on the podium overall, with a 4th place.
The last word of the event went to Steve WS, who, in the absence of Dave Best, had been awarded the Dick-of-the-Day the previous evening. Apparently some felt that Steve had caused the whole situation by stopping Dave's car midway through the barrier, for a quick chat, but Steve later mitigated his actions by explaining that he had only done this so that he could let Dave know: 'If you stop there pal, you might well end up breaking the barrier'. Thus eager to avail himself of the dreaded Dick-of-the-Day jacket and hat, he duly called upon Dave to come and claim his prize.
Without the help of so many at RSC these events would not happen and thanks to all concerned but a special thanks must go to Mike Barsby, the event co-ordinator for the final time, who marshalled his generals superbly: PRO Ian Sumner ably assisted by our Commodore, John Fothergill; next year's event co-ordinator Peter Dale who ran the beach; his wife Sara who took care of the social side; Jackie in the kitchen who served such a fine meal on the Saturday evening and Nic C in the office and stand in driver of the Chicken Chow Mein in the West Creek on Sunday morning.
But it takes two to Tango and for sure we need RSC and their support but the event wouldn't happen without those dedicated sailors who made the journey and invested their time into the event. Thanks to all who made the effort to visit our pond and helped make the 22nd Inlands so pleasurable. See ya all next year.
|Pos||Helm Name||Crew Name||Sail No||Boat Name||Club||R1||R2||R3||R4||R5||Pts|
|1st||Nigel Grogan||Jack Grogan||881||HelmutShoing II||RCYC||1||2||1||3||(DNC)||7|
|2nd||Bryan Riley||Jenny Riley||73||Brimstone||WOBYC/RNSYC||4||1||3||‑14||1||9|
|3rd||Dave Best||Pete Richards||797||Crossfire||SCYC||‑9||4||8||1||4||17|
|4th||David Wines||Keith Davies||828||White Magic||West Hoe SC/Royal Plymouth||8||‑24||2||6||7||23|
|5th||Stu Rix||Steve Warren‑Smith||13||Aquabat||Royal Victoria||3||‑12||9||4||8||24|
|6th||Gerald Dyson||Tony Salton Stall||/12||Alchemy||Royal Yorkshire||10||6||‑24||5||3||24|
|7th||Malcolm Hutchings||Andy Ramsey||819||Lady Penelope||RCYC & BSC||6||5||4||‑11||9||24|
|8th||Micky Wright||Alex Porteous||811||Spoof||Royal Corinthian YC||7||‑16||7||10||5||29|
|9th||Malcolm Blackburn||Dave Shiel||96||Moonstone||SCYC||‑16||7||14||8||6||35|
|10th||Phil Aspinall||Howie Enilel||72||Guy Fawkes||Royal Corinthian YC||12||11||6||9||(DNC)||38|
|11th||Nic Tolhurst||Mel Titmus||868||By the Lee||RCYC||11||9||5||‑15||14||39|
|12th||Richard Roberts||John Jones||755||Cybi||Holyhead SC||‑22||3||10||19||10||42|
|13th||Roger Harris||Mark Thompson||127||Misfire||SCYC||2||18||11||16||(DNC)||47|
|14th||Alan Johnson||David Garlick||132||Cariad Bach||SCYC||17||‑20||15||13||2||47|
|15th||Ian Keely||Matthew Keely||16||Squibbo||WOBYC/RNSYC||18||8||‑26||12||12||50|
|16th||Joe Henry||Roly Wilson||52||Bacchante||RVYC/RNSA||14||(OCS)||20||2||15||51|
|17th||Richard Sullivan||Sue Harper||855||Croc (last year Clever Dick)||WOBYC/RNSYC||‑28||15||13||7||16||51|
|18th||Brian Holland||Steve Weakes||789||Dream On||SCYC||25||10||19||‑27||17||71|
|19th||Martin Harrison||Jules||500||Hussar||Royal Victoria YC||13||13||‑27||25||23||74|
|20th||Mike Hughes||Gary Catterall||872||Pocahontas||SCYC||15||19||18||‑28||25||77|
|21st||Simon Stonehouse||Mike Barsby||788||QD3||RSC||19||17||22||22||‑28||80|
|22nd||Chris Hill||James Pritchard||104||Wildfire||RDYC||20||‑29||16||20||26||82|
|23rd||Mike Butler||Neil Leach||801||Tears for Fears||SCYC||26||‑28||21||17||18||82|
|24th||Charlie White||Harry White||835||Kestral||RVYC/RNSA||27||25||‑34||24||11||87|
|25th||Nigel Harris||John Stephenson||65||Banshee||SCYC||5||30||12||(DNC)||DNC||91|
|26th||Emma Baker||Sam Prime||20||Buccaneer||Royal Victoria||24||‑33||30||18||19||91|
|27th||Iain Jones||Jim Mitchelle||153||Aldebaran||Weymouth SC||30||26||23||‑33||13||92|
|28th||Raymond Apthorp||Guy Welch||806||Nemesis||TSC||‑29||14||29||26||24||93|
|29th||Toby Taylor||James Beasley||108||Ogo Dogo||SCYC||21||27||‑32||31||21||100|
|30th||Tudor Roberts||Turur Owen||847||Lil Quickie||HSC||‑39||35||17||29||22||103|
|31st||Ben Gibson||Christopher Gibson||623||Wizard||Royal Victoria YC||‑33||32||33||21||20||106|
|32nd||Peter Dale||Sarah Dale||856||Second time Around||RSC||23||23||‑38||32||31||109|
|33rd||John Sparrow||Ralph Banthorpe||845||Rock n Roll||SCYC||32||21||‑35||30||30||113|
|34th||Josh Wilce||Will Hall||393||Eyas||Rutland||31||34||25||23||(DNC)||113|
|35th||Jason Phelps||Carl Anderson||736||Magic Roundabout||RCYC||‑37||22||31||35||27||115|
|36th||David Cannell||Chris Gill||40||Ruby||Waldingfield||35||‑39||28||34||33||130|
|37th||Barry Searle||Gill Lambe||468||Ignite||Waldringfield||34||‑38||37||36||29||136|
|38th||John Cunningham||Nicky Cokayne||280||Osprey||Carsington SC||36||31||‑41||38||32||137|
|39th||Alan Jones||Richard Hayden||842||Posh Totty||West Mersea YC||38||40||39||39||(DNC)||156|
|40th||David Hall||Judy Roberts||829||Kachina Too||Holyhead SC||41||36||(OCS)||37||DNC||158|
|41st||Chris Stonehouse||Chris Stonehouse||809||Squffy||RSC||(DNC)||37||36||DNC||DNC||161|
|42nd||Simon Lee||Philip Hartley||99||Rebound||Holyhead||40||41||40||(RET)||DNC||165|
|43rd||Tony Portch||Miles Woodfield||680||Topsie||Portsmouth SC||(DNC)||DNC||DNC||DNC||DNC||176|