SnowGlobe 5 & 6 21 Dec 2020
Following some earlier trepidation about the forecast wind, but wanting the show to go on, 21 crews were greeted with an ideal breeze and even some sunshine for races 5 and 6 of the Snow Globe series.
Race 1 saw a reaching start towards Fairway 5, where the quicker boats were able to stretch their legs a little.
Some close mark-rounding action at the leeward mark, laid between the RCYC and RBYC pontoons, saw the fleet being kept nicely together for a series of laps across to Fairway 7.
The race went to James Hutton-Penman, closely followed by Nic Tolhurst and Malcolm Hutchings, all in Blazes. Paul Buckley took 4th, which ended up being one of his discards, highlighting his consistency in the series so far.
‘Calm’, ‘restraint’, ‘conservative’ – none of those words could be used to describe the start of race 2 !! A veritable omnishambles ensued at the outer distance mark, with several boats all on top of each other (literally in some cases…). The boats who avoided this had a clear run to 5 and back, in a building breeze, and at the first cross-river lap Malcolm Hutchings had a small lead over Messrs Tolhurst and Buckley.
As the breeze built, the fleet experienced a variety of ‘moments’ at the gybe marks, with a number of crews seeing if their wet / drysuits were up to the task of sailing in December ! And demonstrating that being Commodore cuts you no slack when crewing, Mr Aspinall was spotted trying to propel the boat by swimming behind, while Scarlett appeared to be tidying up the mess he’d left at the front of the boat…!
Throughout this, Nic Tolhurst was showing the rest of the fleet a clean pair of heels in the breezier conditions with both speed and boat-handling, if perhaps not basic counting…. While I can’t verify this for sure, the consensus was that he led the fleet on an extra lap across the river – clearly he was having too much fun !! He finished two minutes clear of Paul Buckley and James Hutton-Penman.
Proof that you can’t just look at the front of the fleet came in the form of young Angus Beale, who calmly and confidently steered his Laser 4.7 to a well-earned 4th place overall, on the day before his 14th birthday ! And right behind him was one of the, how can I put this, ‘elder statesmen’ of the fleet, Ant Law, showing plenty of the younger pups the way round !
Thanks should go to the race management and safety boat teams for enabling us to race each week, and also to Carl Anderson for organising and running the series with what feels like constantly moving goalposts.
Sadly, due to the implementation of Tier 4 restrictions, we have to postpone the rest of the series – we’re hoping to run the remaining races at a time when restrictions permit people to be in and around the club so we can make it something of a spectator event, but more to follow on that.
See you all on the water in 2021 !