Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Two Soups

I recently discovered a new (to me) sailing blog and it's already one of my favorites.

Check out RS300 393 - adventures of a boat and her incompetent skipper.

That's the author, Chris Arnell - "looking awesome downwind wearing the camera hat."

I love this guy. He has everything going for him...

  • He is British.
  • He is a singlehanded racing sailor.
  • He sails an RS Sailing singlehander.
  • He celebrates his own incompetence.
  • He writes with self-deprecating humor

I mean, what's not to like about someone with all those qualities?

His latest post is Not an event report. The RS300 Inlands.

Apparently he was asked to write a report about the RS300 Inlands for Yachts and Yachting magazine and he refused to do so....

OK – let’s be clear about this one. I am NOT writing a Yachts and Yachting report for an RS300 event where I was too far behind to see who won and too busy trying to stay upright to notice what the weather was like or whether the start line was good, bad or indifferent. The only thing I remember is there were never more than 6 boats behind me and even if I knew who they were I’d be accused of cyber-bullying if I mentioned them by name. Nobody needs a defeat by me mentioned in the yachting press.

Sounds fair enough to me. At least he wrote a "not an event report" blog post.

Apparently the RS300s shared a course with the Phantoms whose skippers seemed to Chris to be "elderly, tubby, humourless jerks" and he should know because he admits to being elderly, tubby and humorless himself.

There is an excellent review of the Bed and Breakfast where he stayed, complete with embarrassing revelations about his interactions with the landlady and a complaint about the breakfast. "For £95 I think a rasher of bacon, a fried egg and a chipolata would have made a nice accompaniment to the muesli."


Bacon is essential food for sailors of RS singlehanded classes. Beans, black pudding and fried bread are good for you too.

Chris realizes that a real event report should include a long list of names "probably in the order they rounded some marks." This challenge seems to be beyond Chris so in his "not an event report" he just provides a list of the most popular names in the fleet...
The most common name in the fleet was actually "Chris" as there were 3 of us. Just behind us, with two each, were the Steves, Alastairs, Daves, Marks, Richards and Ians. The poor guys who couldn't even muster a single namesake included Sam, Luke, Tim, Stuart and Mike. But if you sail as well as these folks it probably doesn't matter.
So creative!

Chris seems to suffer from the same problem that often plagues me. The official regatta photographer always seems to shoot me when I don't look like I know what I am doing.

Lardy marble attempts to reach high side of boat

That's Chris in 393. His caption - not mine. He does seem to be a bit obsessed with the Phantom sailors and how "lardy"he is.

Some of the Phantoms capsized while tacking; their sailors rolling like lardy marbles from the high side to the low side of their boats. I think I’m probably more of a Phantom sailor than an RS300 sailor. It’s a depressing thought.

Chris does remember to report on the prize giving. "We had one."

And in a brilliant conclusion he publishes a photo of the results which are totally illegible.

I like this guy. Go read his blog. Subscribe or follow it or whatever it is you do with blogs.

In his "not an event report" Chris mentions one sailor who has the nickname "Two Soups."  I have no idea why anyone would be called "Two Soups." Perhaps it's something to do with this classic sketch featuring Julie Walters as the waitress?


Chris Arnell said...

Awesome "blog about a blog"! Made my day. Actually it's the highlight of my year. But as you may gather from the blog, the " highlight" bar is set pretty low. Thank you so much! Chris. (RS300 393)

Tweezerman said...

As a young arse, wet behind the ears, I spent a couple of months with the Limey dinghy blokes and they found it great sport to slag off fellow sailors, particularly the ones sailing similar classes (Enterprise vs GP 14, 505 vs. Int. 14, Nat 12 vs Merlin Rocket) - pooftahs and wankers and like terms tossed about freely. It seemed more of a pub sport during the long winter months, when one was well into the cups, a competition where those with a quick repartee emerged victorious in the cut and thrust of subtle, and not so subtle, insults; something this emigrant Yank was completely shite at.

Tillerman said...

Yanks and Limeys just slag off all their fellow sailors on Sailing Anarchy these days.

Tillerman said...

You are welcome Chris. So what is the real story behind the Two Soups nickname?

Chris Arnell said...

"2 Soups" is actually Alastair. Alastair us usually known as "Storky". I believe this is because he has a windsurfing technique that involves standing on one leg. Lovely guy, lives in Scotland, has a 49er, a foiling moth and a motorcycle (in his living room) - yes, he's living the dream... Anyway, I digress. After sailing on Saturday, Alastair and Mark, it seems, went straight to the pub for a late afternoon snack. And when we arrived at the pub a few hours later for the evening meal, it transpired that Alastair was now having his second bowl of soup of the day. Your "Two Soups" sketch is well remembered as this was mentioned at the time, and this is how poor Alastair inherited his nickname for the weekend. I imagine he'll be back to "Storky" next time we meet him.

Cyrille said...

Thank you Tillerman, this "393" blog is fantastic!
It may be a sign that sailing a boat as strange looking as a RS300 can have strong effects on someone...

Tillerman said...

Maybe I should buy an RS300?

George A said...

Poor devil. Sounds like my outings in my Mistral design Moth before I was sane enough to yank all the hardware off that Shiny Beast and give her bare hull to another fool.

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