21/05/2012

Spring Muster and Tarbert Race

What a superb sailing weekend to start off the 2012 Serpent programme.  Peter Jennett on Exody started the fleet off Kip with the Class 3 starters off first and Class 1 thereafter with Aquaholic and Guilty right on the line with spinnaker poles set for the downwind sail to Garroch Head.  The fleet set off down the Wemyss Bay shore with the exception of Troikka where they were too disorganised to do anything but head for the other side by which time the asymmetric was ready for a gybe-free ride. Troikka held the lead from Aquaholic and Guilty who were well ahead of the white sails bunch but a spectacularly protracted gybe at Garroch Head allowed the other two to catch up and then heading over to the Kintyre shore proved a mistake as the wind failed and Aquaholic and Guilty in close contention romped away to the finish with Aquaholic the winner on handicap. Sensing that they might be timed out and with a strong sense of Commodorial duty, Out of the Blue retired and arrived to welcome the latecomers.  With such a long sail there was little time for cockpit socialising before all repaired to the Starfish Restaurant where in most pleasant surroundings we had an excellent and convivial meal.  There was general agreement that this was a venue to which we would happily return. The photo below shows the members enjoying their meal.


During the meal, the crew of Camus Bosta who were without a lady helm for the Sunday Ladies' Race attempted to lure Troikka's lady helm with the offer of camels, cooked breakfasts and what not but fortunately Jill recognised that while a boat with one wheel was bad enough, one with two wheels was taking things much too far.  
Next day dawned sunny but with a fresh chilly wind from the south east.  Seamus and Peter Lalor on Emma Louise were the race officers and Troikka and Guilty both had perfectly judged starts and proceeded to cross tacks all the way down Loch Fyne.

The venerable Guilty an impressive sight as she powers upwind.  Below is Troikka's lady helm at her first attempt at wheel steering.

It was only when the wind eased and Guilty's crew took to sunning on the deck that Troikka was able to overtake.
Unfortunately the wind failed at Ardlamont and it was a real struggle to get to Kames within the time limit. Troikka managed with about 20 seconds to spare thus giving the fleet a 30 minute extension and managed this without flying two headsails unlike some others.....

Unfortunately the results are not to hand right now so the identity of the victorious lady helm on Guilty is not known to me. Also I regret that we have no pictures or accounts from Class 3 as they were just too far behind your writer! Whatever, it was an opening muster as good as they come and we look forward to the Portavadie event on the 16th June. Thanks to Catherine the Commodore for all her efforts.

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