Twenty-two people, four TOMS, two yachts, nautical fun and tapas with a glass or two. What could possibly go wrong?
Well – it was an exciting day, very much enjoyed by all participants!!! We had winds of 7 to 8 knots from the North, gusting up to 10, and shifting slightly East as the day progressed.
This event is the only day in the CBYA annual calendar to combine TOMs racing and cruiser cruising for our members. A diverse group including long-time, and new, CBYA members, with varied sailing abilities, gathered at Real Club Náutico Calpe (RCNC) at 10:00 on Thursday, 19 September 2019. We were joined by RCNC member, Floris de Jong, who provided his sailing yacht, De Groote Jongker, for the day. Richard Jones also came along on S/Y Tricky D, so we had two cruisers join the regatta. Registration was completed, and the TOMs sailing teams were organised – by popular demand, and for the first time ever, we had one TOM team that entirely comprised of female crew. The all-girls boat went for win, but was narrowly beaten in the end!
At 11:00 Rachel Garnham, CBYA TOMs Special Event Coordinator, briefed us on the day’s programme and activities. Each TOM, (wo)manned by a group of four, was to undertake nautical exercises on the water, each designed to demonstrate boat handling and seamanship. The cruiser crews were involved as ‘judges’ by timing, marking and awarding points for these tasks. This would be followed by two races based on the TOMs liga race format.
At 12:00 all disbanded from the briefing room as the various teams prepared for the activities – rigging the TOMs, and setting sail. as well as positioning the cruisers out in Calpe bay.
By 12:30 the TOMs were all at sea and were performing the boat handling tasks, taking their turn to position themselves at the stern of each cruiser, and signalling to a cruiser crew that they were ready to perform their allocated tasks. Following the blast of a whistle from one of the judges, each TOM had to do:
a) 720 degree turn (tack, gybe, tack), then..
b) gybe, gybe, tack, gybe, tack, (by this time we were slightly dizzy, some of us having lost count and kept on tacking and gybing), then, once recovered…
c) two heave-tos and a CBYA pennant (yes – you would heave-to too if you had been there), and…
d) a U-turn.
The judges dutifully timed us and gave two blasts of the whistle upon completion of each task. They also took some nice photos of the TOMs in action (thank you judges!)
After that Christian took over with race management from the RCNC rescue boat. The two races were fast ones – taking less than 25 minutes each to complete from start line (between committee boat and the downwind marker) to windward mark, back to leeward mark and to finish line. Although spinnakers were permitted on the finishing leg of the race, none except for one TOM,were actually used. The yacht in question went faster, but missed the finish line due to gybing problems! [Note: more spinnaker training necessary for CBYA TOMs sailors during our regular training sessions…]. The point differentials were very close, indicating that we are likely to have a very competitive TOMs ladder this Autumn (starting 10th October – watch this space).
We finished the races by 14:00-(-ish), headed back to RCNC to de-rig and clean up, and reconvened at the RCNC restaurant at 15:00 for a delicious tapas meal, general congeniality and of course the prize giving. Rachel led the proceedings with winners:
First Prize: Richard Scales, Kenneth Horne, Peter Sparks, and Roger Roberts
Second Prize: Rachel Garnham, Cristina Casas, Nikki Dwyer and Amanda Topson
Third Prize: Keith Leary, Samir Chami, Jane Dye and Chris Engels
Fourth Prize: Dave Reid, Monique Neyzen, Howard Edmonds, and John Williams
The cruiser teams: Richard Jones, Lesley Chami, Diana Jarvis (TrickyD) and Floris de Jong, Allison O’Brien and David Crabb (De Groote Jongker) also received prizes as a token of our appreciation.
Diana Jarvis, a regatta judge on TrickyD, had the following comments: ‘Congratulations on a really well thought out day. The experts on the skills tests was, of course, the all girls team skippered by Rachel who really could do 720 degrees on the proverbial floating sixpence. Lighting reactions and muscle power saved TrickyD from being out of the water on a fourth respray. Although not all the crews completed every skill requirement to perfection, the wonderful fun day introduced new members to the TOMs and to the friendliness of the CBYA. Overall the Kiwis did it again – congratulations to Richard [Scales] and your team for coming first’.
New member Cristina Casas aptly summarises the day: ‘Hi friends, yesterday we had a very fantastic regatta-training day. The wind didn’t help us, but we ‘the girls’ – Rachel, Amanda, Nikki and I – enjoyed every minute. Lunch at RCNC was the perfect end. Thank you from all of us. Ah! – We ‘the girls TOM team’ won the second place and the wine bottles!! Looking forward to sailing with you again very soon.’
!!!Look out for next year’s CBYA Regatta!!!
Thank you to RCNC for enabling this event, especially to RCNC Sailing Director Antonio LaMadrid, and to Christian, for facilitating the sailing, and to Chef Marino and his team for an excellent meal.
Thank you to Racheland to everyone at CBYA who had a part in organising the event.