Sunday dawned bright and clear, which is more than can be said for the heads of those who reluctantly agreed that Dean’s Birthday party had finished (at 1am) and crawled into the Loco Perro 'taxi', which had arrived to join in the fun. But days like this are not to be missed and boats were rigged and away in time for the morning race with the small cumulus clouds producing a highly variable ‘almost 0’ to 12 knot wind.
3208 Eleanor, 2688 Atum Bom and 2698 Ronin joined in the racing and 2674 Born Slippy waited for newbies who wanted a ride. 2685 Loco Perro’s new owner was seen puzzling over bits of rope attached to the 21sqm kite and missed the cut. The race started with a short beat which saw Ronin take an early lead. Eleanor a little slow off the line due to having no watch, playing catch up downwind and managing to pass Ronin. Only to be passed in turn on the upwind leg, this game of cat and mouse carried on for the whole race until Ronin sailed neatly into one of the 0 knot holes, allowing Eleanor to blast through the finish line in one of the 12 knot gusts.
After lunch Loco got up and running and impressed briefly before dumping in several times under kite. Some work to be done on sailing skills then, but it is early days and Loco’s foredeck hand (sometimes literally), Sam was later shown by Roland Trim what Loco is capable of. More of a fluffy labrador than Mad Dog was his analysis but the smile on his face said the rest.
Cherubs take a siesta after a busy morning
By afternoon the breeze had really piped up and it was clear how much fun was being had by Atum Bom and Ronin, two boats with new personnel and potential to go well at the Natrionals at Pwllheli in August. Eleanor’s helm Dean Ralph had to rush off to fix a hospital power supply (yes, we do have day jobs) but the numbers were kept up by the arrival of the Bridles with 3204 Riot Van after Eddie received a 3-0 thrashing at his football match!
Born Slippy was busy giving rides and several Sheppey SC members who’d never been in a Cherub before were given a chance to get the feel of (still) one of the nicest boats to sail ever built (yes, we are biased – Cherubs are cool) and Loco Perro’s helm went out on the wire in Slippy for the first time in 30 years. ‘Like riding a bicycle…I still fall off those too.’
Errant of mercy - Banshee Ambulance heads off to do some good (above)
Equipment highlights must go to Ronin with furtive glances cast over her rig tensioning system, mainsail hook up (you mean you don’t have to capsize to drop the main? – innovative) and Velcro kite sheet retainers.
There was some drama late in the day as huge squall clouds closed in while two experienced crews were still on the water. Winds gusting to 40mph resulted in prolonged capsizing and a potential drift out to sea on a strong tide. Both boats were recovered with no damage to boats or owners and both crews are to be commended for the decisions made which resulted in a good outcome.