Traveller Series Heat 5 at Cardiff Bay Yacht Club

July 21st-22nd.

A great new venue for the Blazes with easy access and a nicely enclosed sailing area.

 

Report by Martin Saveker

 

As usual, I was too slow to duck and dive at the prize giving,when Christian fixed me with his beady little eye and said ”since you are likely to come third, in line with tradition you can do the report, oh, if you come second you can do it anyway.” So here we are…...

 

Arriving at CBYC on the first day of “summer”, that being the first day without rain in about 2 months, and a forecast of little wind, 6 true and trusty Blaze sailors gathered in the very secure compound of Cardiff Bay Yacht Club, having passed through a pair of gates that opened and then closed securely behind us with the sort of clang that brings the opening scene from Porridge to mind. At the same time we were vetted for suitability by the large and imposing security guard andreminded in no uncertain terms to remove our cars after unloading to the visitors car park outside of the razor wire topped security cordon. However, they still let Chris and Christian in, so the system obviously needs reviewing

 

A very pleasant and friendly club awaited us with an excellent launching ramp, kitchen and, importantly (as far as the Welsh contingent were concerned) a bar. There being no local Blaze owners, the whole fleet were the itinerant travellers or as Stefan remarked with a knowing look at Chris H “pikeys. In comparison, the other fleet, the Flying Fifteens were made up entirely of local boats.

 

With a very brief briefing at 12-30pm the Fleet set sail for the start at 1-30pm. Cardiff bay being a man made lake means it is a short sail for ramp to committee boat , however, to get you on your toes, you first have to negotiate a maze of wharfs and jetties.

 

Now to the first race, and what can we say about the races?.The course was  a triangle and a sausage as one lap, with a race comprising two laps. The course was relatively, but necessarily, short  as with a gentle easterly wind blowing across the Bristol channel there was enough to move us but not a lot else. The race officer set good but short lines and racing commenced.

 

With Christian sailing into a convincing lead in each race (how predicable!) and Chris doing his best to chase him down, they completed a first days take with 3 firsts and 3 seconds respectively, the minor places being left to the others to fight over,  resulting in Stefan taking 3rd place overnight.

 

With a dash to the bar, for the first post race pint, inquests were held into various topics such as where had Martin’s mojo gone, would the wind be any stronger on Sunday and could Bob get the passion wagon passed security into the compound for the night. Following the first thirst quencher,there was a dash to the hotels and back, more beer, dinner was ordered, a curry for some, and fish supper for others, along with more beer. After consuming the aforementioned supper, and more beer, the Welsh boys were ready for the off. Bob,decided that he had better stay as having got said vehicle into the compound, he might not be able to get back in later.

 

Now it has to be said that it was a very quiet night for the lads, and following a couple of pints they decided to go to bed and have an early night, to be up fresh and early for the scheduled 10am start the next day. They did not do a crawl of the town centre bars, they did not visit any dens of iniquity and definitely did not do anything they would worry about their “significant others” finding out about. Ah yesthe moon is made of green cheese and look, a flying pink pig.

 

Martin, in the meantime, departed for bed at 11pm after aseason’s personal best of 3 pints and 3 bottles of Peronei.

 

So to Sunday morning. The lads arrived “fresh” as daisies,(honest) and promptly bemoaned the lack of available tea and bacon butties.

 

With a fresher breeze and a clear blue sky, everyone set off with high hopes of an excellent days racing. How those early hopes were to be dashed. With the wind having swung to the south and coming onto the bay over a tall headland the breeze proved interesting, challenging, and at times a right a pain in the bum. It varied in strength from a crunched up in the bottom flat calm to full hiking upwind with the occasionalplane off wind.

 

The race officer initially decided on a longer course in anticipation of a better breeze, a decision he was to adjust later.. The tone of the days racing was set following the first start when the wind swung several times allowing those who were over the line to recover and catch up at the first mark. Having taken the lead by the first run Christian than had a gear failure and did not finish and Stefan capsized on a monumental backer, thus allowing Chris to take a win with Martin second, with Stefan recovering to third.

 

With Christian having found and fitted another shackle, the 5thrace commenced and the usual fun and games commenced with shifts up wind and gusts and hollows downwind allowing place changing and gap closing to occur with the added benefit of entertainment from Bob with a notable swim on the first beat. Martin got on the right side of a shift (for once) and passed Christian at the top of the last beat and held on down the run and final beat to win, with Christian 2nd and Chris 3rd.

 

The final race saw the most confusing wind of the day with the wind dropping to nothing and swinging all over the placeafter the start, with first those that went left looking good and then those that went right, ending up with everyone close to the windward mark, all on different beats, runs, reaches or just sitting there scratching their heads, mostly  going nowhere.

 

Eventually the wind filled in allowing racing to recommence. With various leaders at one time or other it sorted itself out on the penultimate beat with Chris going into self destruct modesailing into a windless place and going from 1st to 4th .Christian missed the wind filling in on port allowing Martin,who was F15 spotting, to get a lift further up the beat, andmove ahead and despite a fit of shock at leading Christian twice in one day, he held on to win.

 

With 2 discards from 6 races the results were as below

 

Pos’n

Name

Sail No

Boat

R1

R2

R3

R4

R5

R6

1

Christian Smart

75

Flash

1

1

1

DNF

2

2

2

Martin Saveker

774

 

5

3

4

2

1

1

3

Chris Holman

640

Sugar Tits

2

2

2

1

3

4

4

Stefan Smart

670

Love It

3

1

3

3

4

6

5

AndyWhitcher

619

 

4

5

5

5

6

3

6

Bob Yates

717

Planesong

6

6

6

4

5

5

 

An excellent weekend overall, the changeable wind allowed  plenty of close racing, the plentiful sun one or two bad attacks of sun, and the following notable events must be recorded:

 

Andy would like to know the truth about the hot dog!!
Christian can sail as fast on a run whether at the front or rear of a Blaze
Bob cooks a mean breakfast
Chris is astounded anyone could not understand “half and half”
Stefan capsized twice and takes quite a long time to get it up.

and

Martin did not capsize all weekend (sorry to disappoint Nick)