NOT Fun Race

Yesterday, I met Jane and Steve at the club to repair the club Lasers. Things started wrong; I arrived about ten minutes late to find Jane with no clubhouse keys and Steve texted me to tell me he would be arrive in an hour because he overslept! So, while Jane went back home to get her clubhouse keys, I was filling the damaged split gunwhale of the blue Laser. In the meantime Steve was stuck somewhere in North Circular traffic. It was a really hot day and I was working in the sun. When Jane came we could open one of the garages and we put the boat inside so we could work in the shade. Steve came and we brought the other two Lasers to see where they are leaking from. It turns out that the mast step is watertight but there was no obvious damage anywhere around the gunwhale. We repaired some scratches and scrapes all over just to make sure that no water will get into the hull. There was not a lot we could do about the de-lamination though that, slowly, will render the hulls unusable. In the afternoon it started raining just after we had finished the repairs. We were all quite happy with the job we had done and sat for a while at the balcony waiting for the rain to stop.

Today was the WSC’s BBQ and Fun Race day. Only one race in the morning, BBQ with steaks, burgers, sausages and all the trimmings and then a Fun Race in the afternoon. I had planned with Steve to have water pistols for the fun race and we would fly a Jolly Roger flag! Steve was seriously late and hungover, and he forgot to bring the water pistols and the black paint for the flag! I had found a piece of fabric (to Lydia’s joy an old t-shirt of mine), I had created skull and crossbone stencils and Steve forgot the paint!

Anyway, Lydia came with me in the morning and everybody seemed quite relaxed, with the BBQ and everything. I rigged the, now repaired, blue Laser but somehow I managed to be quite late. So it took me some time to get to the start line. I arrived just fifty seconds before the gun, so my start was not that great. It was a 3 lap race. On the first lap things weren’t that great. On the second lap I managed to cover some of the lost ground and on the third lap I had lost motivation. Whenever I arrive late at the start line I tend to be quite stressed and I carry that stress with me for at least a lap. That stress affects my performance because I don’t have a clear mind and I end up last. Then, obviously, I am not happy because I know I could be doing better and I get into this vicious circle. I don’t say that the fault is not mine, but with the club boats, every time something happens and it takes longer to rig.

On top of that, when you have your own boat, you can have your own boat you can leave part of the rig (kicker, cuningham, etc) on, when you store the boat. So it will take less to rig. Everything is where you left and in the state which you left it. I want to get my own boat but as I said before I can afford a decent one. I have been looking in part ownership and I have been looking on eBay and various other websites for a cheap boat.

The problem with eBay, is that people who buy through there are willing to pay more than those boats worth. Earlier today I was an auction for a Laser hull with some damage. Somebody paid £306 for it! I was willing to stretch it up to £250 max. Ideal would be around £150. For a hull that you haven’t really seen, and considering that you have to buy it once you win the auction, it’s too much of a risk.

Anyway, back to the day’s proceedings at the club. We came in after the race and there was loads of activity around the BBQ. Costas was there too. Actually he was the chef. I met Costas on the second day of my Level 1 course (he was doing a Level 2) and the only times I have seen him at the club is when there is a BBQ party involved. After some minor problems, the steaks and the sausages where on, Pimm’s was served at the bar and we all had a really nice lunch. Somewhere between the strawberries and the cream I made that Jolly Roger flag with a can of paint I found in one of the garages. There wasn’t much paint left in it, so I managed to spray only the one side and I stuck the stencils on the other. You see the stencils were already covered ion black paint after I had sprayed the first side so the second side was a negative images of the first. Still it was fine. It’s only a fun race. A pint of Pimm’s later decisions were made about the fun race. Who would crew for whom.

For the fun race, Brian had offered the use Harp Sailing School’s RS Visions. I did my Level 1 in those so they seemed quite nice. Now I can say that they are fine for training, but other than, they are not that great. Lydia had decided to crew for me. That was a nice chance for her to see how it is. There was not much wind but we had a quite good start. We raced for a while and me as well as Steve and Jane we discovered that the Visions are not good in light winds. If they don’t have enough speed, they will literally turn the wrong way. Just opposite from where you want it to go.

Since the wind died out completely, it wasn’t fun at all. Eventually me and Steve decided to go in because it was pointless. Jane & Tom, finished the race. Actually I am not surprised if they are the only ones who finished. Lydia thought that the whole thing was nice and calm and enjoyable but she thought it was a shame that I could not enjoy it. It’s the racing thing that makes you want to go faster rather than just sit there. Anyway, we had a few more drinks at the balcony and we came back home. Quite nice day, but the fun race was not windy and not fun at all.