In the past, RCNC has organised a TOMs Fancy Dress Sail on December 28th, the day that Spain celebrates the Día de Los Santos Inocentes (Day of the Holy Innocents). It is the Spanish version of April Fool’s Day when people play pranks and jokes throughout the day, but the celebration’s macabre origins are far from a laughing matter. Holy Innocents’ Day has biblical origins, and gruesome ones at that. The day marks the Massacre of the Innocents, as depicted in the New Testament, when Herod ordered the murder of all children in Bethlehem under the age of two, fearing that the newborn Jesus Christ everybody was talking about as the Messiah, would replace him as King of Judea. Historians aren’t sure about whether this truly happened, but at some point, during Medieval times, the mourning for this infanticide turned into a celebration among Christians! Pranks, or inocentadas, take place all over the country, including egg bombardments of passers-by, and spoof reports on Spanish television programmes. The Alicante town of Ibi steals the show in this regard every year thanks to its mock coup d’état and edible projectiles.
The CBYA decided to rerun this traditional sailing event this year, and duly invited RCNC sailors to take part. As it was a workday, only one RCNC crew entered, which comprised Carina Gemelo (Vice-President of the RCNC Management Committee), her daughter Lucia, and friends, Ángela and Clara, who sailed TOM #3.
The CBYA crews were:
Chris de Boer (skipper)
Hugh Epsom (skipper)
Due to the somewhat inclement weather conditions, none of the crew reported in fancy dress, but numerous Santa hats were on display – some more impressive than others!
The wind was stronger than forecast, so we decided before the race not to use spinnakers. Due to the strong onshore wind, all three TOMs found it difficult to leave the marina. However, we eventually made it, and managed to lay the marks for the race. Chris took on the responsibility for starting the races using our mobile marine radio communications. The starts were all hotly contested, and close racing ensued in quite difficult sailing conditions. We managed to complete three races – Races 1 & 2 were won by TOM #2, and Race 3 by TOM #3.
Picking up the windward mark and returning to the marina berth also proved challenging. However, with a little help from our friends, all three TOMs were returned safely to the moorings.
The CBYA hosted a tapas lunch for all the crews in the RCNC restaurant after the event.
Well done to all!