Used a Get Out of Jail Free Card today
This second race in the autumn 5 Clubs series was hosted by RCN Altea, saw us playing this card to pick up a second place in Division B.
Absolutely crap start, maybe 30 seconds too early, right on the start boat with a fleet of hollering Spanish boats all pushing themselves, and us, up and up. A few were pushed over. We got pushed out. Had no option but to bail out just missing the start boat, effecting as swift a 360 as we could do, whilst avoiding the remaining late starters, to eventually settle back down and chase the leaders. The course was from Alteas Marina up northward into a N/NE 10 knot breeze, starboard around a fish farm off Calpe, back down due south to then round a fish farm off Altea also to starboard – and into the finish. Our two Division B running mates, Paguelin and Dale Andar, had got a clear start. Dale Andar plugged away on starboard, paralleling the coast and heading north. Paguelin tacked off and went offshore. We mirrored Dale Andar, and whilst we couldn’t match her height, had a tad more speed, and it was soon obvious the course we took was the right one. The N/NE winds took a huge veer as they came round Cabo Croix, a high cliffed headland that lay across our path, and we were both able to lift and lift as we got close, to eventually gain 40 degrees on the boats behind. Quite surreal sailing parallel with the curving cliffs (at times only 10 metres off) but managed to pop out of the headland lying 3rd and 4th boats in the combined fleets of both Division A and B. Got round the Calpe fish farm in good order. Slick kite hoists, and off we went chasing Dale Andars transom running before freshening winds heading south. With her symmetrical kite we had to put in two more gybes than her, but again, pretty close as we rounded the Altea fish farm and with our A2 carried shy, began the starboard reach into the finish a mile or so shoreward. Trouble was we had a big kited 44XP Division A yacht closing on our stern and threatening to kill our wind. Had no choice but to discourage them with a luff or two and once she gave up and settled to try and get through us to leeward, we continued our chase on Dale Andar. Didn’t get her, but knowing she owed us time and knowing we were close, I was pretty sure we might at long last in this series, get a top spot. But sadly right on the line, as the 44XP surfed inside us to finish, a Division C yacht, coming into the line on port, simply ignored our shouts and left us no option but to climb above her stern and avoid a collision, before we too could bear away and slide across the line. A real bummer – we learnt later we had missed out on 1st place by 2 seconds! The offending yacht said sorry in the bar and bought us some beers but afraid it didn’t make up for the trophy loss! But a great day again on the water in warm winds and bright autumnal sun. Our crew of Sue, Kevin, Edo, Eric and Rob were brilliant all day. Top jobs all round. It was me who buggered the start, and me that ducked the Division C boat. Sorry chaps. Should have rammed him………