Dec 30

Christmas Sunday sailing – Matt Richardson’s report

‘Twas the last Sunday before Christmas when 6 hardy sailors and 2 even hardier Safety Boat / Race Officers / General entertainers took to the water to do festive battle in a team sailing contest, Westerly wind 5-6, gusting 15,  made for near perfect mucking about sailing.

Safety Boat Team Richardson (Matt and Sam) split the six boats into two teams, one each captained by Sally and Sara, who then picked their teams school playground style.
All races were to be held with relaxed sailing rules, allowing for most cheating techniques, and with pumping and paddling actively encouraged. Sam and I did our best to put the racers off by creating maximum wash, playing loud Christmas music through the loud-haler, and generally making things up as we went along.
And so, we were all lined up at the start in Christmas hats, tinsel wrapped booms, and a fine polar bear head dress sported by Sally…..
Race 1 – was a simple team race, two laps round buoys, with the winning team being the first team to get all boats over the finish line.
Team Sally romped home to victory, and by such a convincing margin that the race officials, like Alan Sugar in The Apprentice, decided to re-jig the teams
Race 2 – with the teams re-balanced, and the introduction of fender grenades (if struck by a fender, racer must do a 360), the tone changed to one of rather greater menace and violence. This seemed to suit the natural game of our Commodore of Vice, as Sara led her team to a comfortable victory in race 2, taking a perfect 1, 2 and 3 at the finish line
Race 3 – The decider, with Team Sally and Team Sara both desperate to win the final race, things got spicier still. Long rage fender missiles narrowly missing the Canada Goose squadron on their final approach to the Wetland Centre, frantic paddling and pumping whenever the wind dropped (and more when it didn’t)  and so many 360’s at times it looked like Strictly. With both teams almost completely level with last 200 meters or so, Sara rallied her team to a win with a 1,2 and 4 in the final race.
With the river at high water, it seemed like a perfect time to stop, so boats were whisked out of the water and all retired to the club house for mulled wine and amazing home made mince pies made by Sara!
Overall team winner Sara B, with 2 wins from 3 races.
Overall individual results over 3 races as follows
1st   Sara B (1st, 1st, 2nd)
2nd  Josh    (4th, 3rd, 1st)
= 3rd    Leo and Sally  (11 points each)
Thanks to all for showing up for the final sail before Christmas – let’s do it all again next year!
Matt & Sam R
Your Safety Boat / Race Officials / Entertainment team