Nobody was interested in racing Lasers so I sailed a Hobie Wave. There were six Waves and three Getaways (another Hobie beach cat) in the races.
After a week of strongish winds, the winds were light for the weekly racing on Sunday. Such is life.
Over the years I have developed a few key rules for doing well in the cat races at Bitter End...
- Give yourself enough room to reach and accelerate at the start.
- Do the minimum number of tacks.
- Don't get stuck in irons in the tacks.
- Sail fast.
- Don't hit anybody.
The start line had a strong port bias and I could see that the majority of the fleet were planning to start at the pin end of the line. But, as Tillerman's Five Rules For Doing Well In The Cat Races At Bitter End don't say anything about trying to fight eight other cats to win the pin I chose to start near the starboard end of the line in every race, in clear air, with plenty of room to accelerate, with freedom to tack, and with no chance of getting pinned beyond the port layline, or getting involved in some godawful melee with eight other cats.
It worked out pretty well most of the time.
One race I didn't get such a good start but as all the boats ahead of me were approaching the windward mark the wind died and they all stalled and I managed to sneak a tack inside them and pass most of them.
And in the last race my competitors were so eager to win the pin that one of them hit the pin and the rest were all involved in some godawful melee trying to luff round the pin, thereby infringing Rule 5 of Tillerman's Five Rules For Doing Well In The Cat Races At Bitter End.
I had to laugh. Children can be so cruel at my age.
At the awards ceremony I was awarded the traditional bottle of rum for coming first in the Wave fleet.
And that was the last time I've won a race in 43 days.
You came here because the title said there would be something nice to look at on a cold and dreary day?
OK. Here it is then.