From the pen of John Keates

FOR Albert Einstein, time is relative. He helps us to understand this concept in this way: “Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute and it feels like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour and it seems like a minute” But can he explain precisely  how long forty five seconds is and exactly how far a Laser can travel in that time? It was apparent, in Race 2 on Monday night, that over half the Laser fleet were unable to successfully calculate this equation! 

YOU may have been one of those who incurred the wrath of the gate-boat: his ringing complaints drifted far and wide over the race course, carried on a gentle South Easterly which was much to the liking of all those of the fleet who carried only a minimal amount of excess baggage. Success was not the sole preserve of ‘Bantamweights’, however, since Mike Atkinson had taken line honours in the previous race, which admittedly was several knots brisker than the last of the evening, but still his achievement robbed those of us with similar physiques of any excuse for going slowly.

THE evening’s events were orchestrated by Bob Alexander and his crew who kindly gave of their time, much to the advantage of the planned PRO, Peter Taylor whose preferred preparation of an afternoon snooze followed by a Fish Finger sandwich was clearly effective since he managed a highly creditable 4th and 1st in races one and two respectively. This gave him the equal best combined score of the evening being accompanied in top spot by Ashley Harris who achieved a 2nd and a 3rd.

A fleet of 30 boats this early in the season was a fantastic surprise which led to some extremely challenging and noisy mark roundings: the windward mark being the noisiest and most difficult, at least for the first beat of the first race.  So many boats in such close proximity led to an unexpected turn of events for even the best of sailors. Was it a surprise, then, to witness our ex-Fleet Captain doing turns? Did he mean to do double his allotted penalty or did this, in some way, reflect the number of boats he’d infringed!? It does serve as a timely reminder to us all, though, that even club racing requires us to atone for our misdemeanours at the first opportunity.

THE subject of rule observance was aired enthusiastically, after racing, both in the boat park and in the bar (where were you Ian and Richard?). Popular topics were: tacking close to the windward mark, luffing rights, the right to water at off-wind marks and propulsion on the run. These discussions eventually led to the subject aired at the beginning of this report: ‘illegal starting’.  Your Fleet Captain gave this subject considerable consideration, mining the depths of his technical knowledge to unearth a solution to the problem of what boats should do when the gate-boat has been released and they have yet to start. A confidentiality clause prevents me from revealing all, but I can advise you that you should keep an eye out for floating ducks!

AS one of those who was forced to count his finishing positions from the back, it was still absolutely brilliant to be sailing in a fleet of such a size, occasionally rubbing shoulders with sailors who are normally miles further up the track. It was evident that tonight’s overcrowding did cause some tensions but as long as we bear in mind that sailing fairly is a goal worth striving for, we can’t go far wrong. After all, as Einstein might have said, the concept of success and failure, like time, is relative.


RACE ONE                                                            RACE TWO

Mike Atkinson                                                       Peter Taylor

Ashley Harris                                                        Andrew Taylor

Ian Roman                                                              Ashley Harris

Peter Taylor                                                          Giles Kuzyk


Nathanial Gordon                                                   Roberta Hartley

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