“She loves me? She loves me not?….”

I think choosing pink for 409 was a mistake.

Well, not insomuch as her looks – she looks stunning on the water, as i always knew she would.

HOWEVER, the colour has infused her with a diva-quality that, i doubt, even Shirley Bassey could match!

At times – on a nice windy reach – she’s my favourite ever girlfriend (Sorry Emma…) at others? On a windy beat for example, she just hates my guts. It’s as if i’ve said: “No, you can’t watch X-Factor!!!” to a sleepover of eight 12yr old-girls…..yes, she can seem to hate me THAT much!!!!!

…and so it was yesterday when we had our annual ‘Commodores Cup’ race at Manor Park.

Three 50minute pursuits. First two back to back and one to finish post-lunch.

I was feeling confident. Cotswolds, despite the capsizes, had me feeling better about sailing in the stiffer breezes, certainly had me more confident for downwind: “Get to the back, Keep it flat!” (The LN sailors mantra???)

So, arriving at the club to 20+mph breeze with gusts and swirliness didn’t put as much fear in me as usual……perhaps it should have!

A deceptively straightforward sail out to the racing lake – through a stillwater/no-wind ‘gap’ (A river crossing) before BLAMMO! – wind on the beam and a super-planing reach out to the start area! Jeepers, this boat is quick! Overtook two full-chat lasers on the way! Confidence & spirit was up 🙂

So, onto my start and – despite being baulked by a GP14 who said: “Tough, i’m setting up for my own start…” (3 minutes behind me??????) we set off upwind – and that’s where the sulking began!

A classic first beat of “Wooooaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!’ as we teetered and tottered up the lake….being overtaken by the GP14s AND the Lasers by the time i’d actually made the first mark!!!  An absolute disaster. Gustiness, swirliness and an inability to figure out why all of the other boats were pointing high, on a starboard tack, driving windward whilst all i seemed to be able to do was go reaching on port!!! …..then we turned the mark with a Merlin-Rocket…………….Alex & Lewis hoisted, three-sailed for the next mark.      That’s them gone then……except it wasn’t! “All the Gear” leapt up, i leapt back and WHAM! we were off! Up on her haunches, spray, ‘skipping’ sounds from the hull – and we actually overtook the MR to the reach the mark before them!!! In fact, once off the wind they struggled to lose us – until time to go uphill came and they pulled out a full leg on me. There was time to cook up a Sunday roast on the committee boat whilst i tried to reach the top mark again!

Anyway, i’ll bore you no more….3 races went in this manner, although due to capsizes & retirements i didn’t actually finish last! 9th – further keeping my record of ‘top ten’ placings at MPSC this year! hahahahahahaha!

The big question, though, goes to anyone in ownership of precocious little girls…….just how do you get them to do as you want??????????

Lee

‘All the Gear’ (LN409)