Report by our gastronomic correspondent Andy Edmonds and photographs courtesy & copyright Mike Millard [a lot more photographs of Training Day and Open Meeting at https://www.flickr.com/photos/swiftly/albums]
As the last of the banana skins wash out of the harbour entrance I can look back on an exciting Poole open event.
Firstly the training day with Tim Rush for those that went was brilliant for its content and because of the psychological advantage gained over those that didn’t make it. The conditions forced Tim to focus on boat trim for heavy weather and after a morning of being blown about and spat out the boat with frequent tea bagging, Tim took us in for something to eat.
Simon and Ben Hawkes generously shared their lunch of egg sandwiches. This selfless gesture might just have saved Ben’s life. A bumpy ride around Poole’s waves that afternoon with Simon full of egg sandwiches risked creating even windier conditions aboard than forecast. After lunch Tim reviewed video of the morning session and allowed us to peer into the dark art of sail setting. The session in the afternoon was fast and eggsilarating, if not completely dry. So much still to learn but the free training given by the Osprey class is such a bonus. Looking forward to the next instalment at Castle Cove on 7 July.
Saturday came and the wind was still up. RO Simon Philbrick set courses with tight reaches, too tight in the end for spinnakers, but it kept the 16 boats full of chatter, agonising over “should we shouldn’t we?”
Aboard our boat “Luv Bites” [above enjoying the salt water drink!] it was a bit like meeting your child’s boyfriend / girlfriend for the first time, alright but we kind of hoped for better. The last race was good for us. Phil Angrave and Piers Strong made an atypical mistake and went home. They were packing the boat up when the beach master gave them a hint that maybe race 3 was on so they started well back. We (Basher Marshall and Andy Edmonds) popped up near the front with our current nemesis Shippy McShipface. (It’s so frustrating when your nemesis has a name that makes you smile.) We took the lead for a while but on the final run made a tactical mistake and they got inside us getting water on the mark and leading us over the line. Phil and Piers were bearing down on us for 3rd place, even with the launching trolley still attached!
The Saturday night entertainment that filled the club house with a ‘Battle of the Bands’ was a storming success, well done to Dave Evans of the Contender fleet for his efforts in getting that off the ground. A great event for Poole Yacht Club and I hope it will draw in more sailors in the coming years to Poole for our open event, both Contenders and Ospreys.
Sunday morning and the wind was still up but people were moving noticeably slower around the boat park.
Chris Hawkes had taken over as Race Officer and set more spinnaker friendly reaches. He also did 3 races instead of the advertised 2 which we coped with and 3 laps as opposed to Saturday’s 4 which we didn’t. Being late at the start meant a lucky Cavalry charge of a start and despite our better judgment sailing into diamonds 6 (if you went on Friday you know what I mean) we found ourselves near the front again, inevitably Phil and Piers were in front as were Peter and Martin, while Rob and Alistair in Robbers Alley had had a problem, and Tim and Emma were sailing with a jib that they didn’t like. Simon and Ben had fallen foul of dynema worm and were lucky to keep their mast. So without the right boats to watch we tried to round up at the leeward mark on lap 3 much to the surprise of a couple of Contenders, and in the kerfuffle watched Kevin Francis and Phil Male in Whitestar steam by, and Tim and Emma giggling at us as we unravelled ourselves and limped back shamefaced to cross the line the right way.
In the second race after eating and drinking all the vittles in the boat (having set off with only 2 races in mind), we bashed around a little grumpily and had our share of good and bad fortune. This time there were enough boats in front of us so that as we reached for home and tea and cake we were able to spot that maybe the fat lady was caught up at Poole bridge.
So a 6th race Brucie bonus, a bit of a surprise, but who would want to stop when the conditions were so tantalising?
Thoughts of Pi went through my head but we managed to find ½ a bottle of something to drink floating around in the bottom of the boat and did some fiddling and unfiddling with the rig.
On the 6th attempt the stuff that Tim had told us about start line tactics on Friday kicked in and we started OK, tacked into clear air and then having experienced VMG by venturing into diamond 4 on Friday at about this state of tide and this kind of wind tacked over there until we felt too lonely and our nerve broke. We had done enough to get to the windward mark in third place, but were out manoeuvred by a pesky twin pole equipped boat. However for once, we kept calm and finished on a reasonable high despite Basher trying to wash me off the side of his boat at the end of the race.
Everyone came off the water with huge grins, it was hard work but a lot of fun.
I have got to thank all the volunteers and officials that allow us to go around having such a blast, Mike Millard for some excellent photos on his Flickr site and Poole Yacht Club for hosting the event.
Personally, I would also like to thank my helm Basher for putting up with me lumbering about, chatting inanely and flapping under pressure!
Top 3 Results
1. Piers Strong and Phil Angrave, Poole YC, 8 pts
2. George and Harry Odling, Plymouth University SC, 21 pts
3. Kevin Francis and Phil Male, Castle Cove SC, 21 pts
Full results available at http://results.sailwave.com/ospreyclass/2017pooleopen.htm
Mike Cooney & Peter Frith racing away to the next training event and open meeting, scroll down below photograph to see dates.
Next Osprey training day, Castle Cove SC Fri 7 July
Next Osprey Open, Castle Cove SC, 8/9 July