Having been deprived of the first race of the season on Tuesday, an enthusiastic group of Victory sailors gathered around Sapristi in the Camber on Thursday evening ready for the Taylor Trophy. The rain poured down. It poured down on the moorings. It poured down as we left the harbour. Then it changed to heavy hail in the gusts as we proceeded up the Hasler Wall while the temperature settled at a balmy 7 degrees. We had the wooden boat, we had the deluge, all we needed now was a bunch of animals turning up two by two…. instead, out of the murk we found Liz and Sid, with Sapristi, at KB racing mark with a course to BT, back to KB, twice.
The rain stopped, the gusts eased a little, and overcome with enthusiasm (or perhaps keen to get it over with) the 5 boats rushed for the line as the countdown neared zero. Rather too early in most cases, and in the melee as boats tried to slow and duck back, Z69 rather underestimated the length of Z74 and a collision occurred. With 69 shaping up for a penalty turn, and 74 OCS, the way was clear for Z54 and Z80 to make a slightly better timed crossing of the line on the gun at the committee boat end. Still quite breezy, and the extra crew weight in 54 (sorry boys) was useful in allowing her to squeeze 80 into an early tack onto port, while Z78 pushed out to leeward of the pair, and 74 followed some lengths back having restarted. Z69, probably wisely, headed back to the warm and dry.
Out into the west going tide and 54 was first around the windward mark, with 78 close behind and 80 and 74 fighting at the back. Down the run, and Z54 first around KB to port, which was a pity, as it had to be rounded to starboard. In the subsequent unwinding 54 shifted neatly from 1st to last, leaving 78, 74 and 80 in the first 3 positions. The second beat to BT saw Z78 and Z74 fight it out, with 74 having the lead after rounding BT and holding it down the run to the finish. Z80 tacked too early for the wall, allowing 54 to grab some tidal advantage and recover one place on the beat.
At the finish, 1st Z74, (sounds familiar) Z78, Z54, Z80. Well done to Tom, Duncan and Carole for getting the first trophy of the season, and thanks to Sid and Liz for braving the weather (although we did notice who stayed in the dry in the wheelhouse!)
No one was singing…..although there may have been a happy hum from Peregrine on the way home….