May 01

May Day Albacor-off No Handicap open invite special

“May Day Albacor-off No Handicap open invite special”

The rules were:
No handicap
All classes valid
2 laps (or as many as Josh, Digby and Jane could be bothered with)
And that was it. Basically no holds barred racing.

Due to the extreme nature of the event many of the clubs more vaunted sailors were too scared to take part. Jamie came down and remarked ” Are you crazy! Racing such as this is an unnatural act! Only god can sanction such reckless behaviour!”.
The most recent series winners
Allan, Steph, Renato, johnny and Amy were invited… Sadly all declined coming up with thin excuses such as houses, babies, gardening, and being fabulous.

The race was fought over 2 laps of a sausage from Craven cottage to Crabtree with several hardy sailors taking part.

The no handicap rule threw up some interesting combinations to try and exploit the steady 12mph winds with virtually every boat choosing to be a double hander. The crews were:

Henry and Thomas in a topper
Ele and Edmund in a topper
Elaine and Jane in the xenon
Armand and Leo in the Stingo
Ben and Sina in Dotty

The SBSC equivalent of UFC got off to a rocketing start. Due to the unique rules of this race the start line was a fluid affair with Elaine and Jane taking an early lead in the xenon by being half way to the first buoy with the two albacores following close behind. Due to the no holds barred nature of the event Ele and Edmund exploited every loop hole to use the safety boat to sail directly in to wind (genius!).

Sina and Ben managed to round the first mark in the lead with Leo and Armand in hot pursuit. Followed by the xenon and Henry’s topper.

A master stroke by the young national topper competitor ( number 7 in the results, after two days of harsh racing, number one in our SBSC hearts) was to realise Thomas’s extra weigh to counteract the wind was not aiding his chances. Using a technique pioneered by pirates Henry made Thomas walk the plank speeding him up no end.

Henry also made an accusation that Dotty had an engine inside of her. Luckily the visionary who came up with the Albacor-off was able to point to the rule book which did not state this was prohibited.


Rounding the second mark in the lead at the end of one lap was dotty followed by Stingo with Safety boat showing no interest in the order, generally just sunning themselves and drinking tea. Remarking ” isn’t this lovely”.

With the final lap coming up apparently lots of stuff happened. Boats and wind were involved but due to the “Extreme” nature of the race none of it can be repeated here in these pages. (What goes on in the Albacor-off stays in the albacor-off).

At some point 15 minutes later rounding the top mark again Ben and Sina declared themselves winners! Again the safety boat was having a difficult time pouring tea whilst looking at the race and so could not be reached for comment.

However, at the stewards enquiry at the immediate aftermath Jane remarked.. ” if I can have a go, Sina, you can claim the win”

This high profile switch occurred and Dotty was acclaimed the winner!

Due to the extreme nature of the event and the high pressure safety boat environment it produced there were bound to be some casualties..

Digby snapped! And threw three children in to the water remarking “it is the only way you will survive!”
(One even had a hole in his dry suit which Digby knew and made him do it anyway)

At the awards presentation afterwards the event chairperson Elaine presented Ben and Sina with the ceremonial can of tuna.

Thank you all for making the inaugural May Day albacor-off such a special day!

Thanks to all the competitors and the safety boat crew. Special thanks to the race officers ( The same Josh, Jane and Digby) whose diligence could have cost Dotty the win in her purpose made event.