The morning of Saturday 14th September awoke to blue skies and a gentle northerly Welsh breeze at Cardiff Bay YC where 3 teams from across the land (2 apparently from God’s Country) gathered for what was going to be a spot of training and then a racing test event. The teams “Doris” (Mark Cockrill/Alex Farr) & “Adventure Wales” (Gareth Davies/Nathan Cumpstone) began with a spot of England v Wales banter whilst waiting for the late arrival of “Sabre Sails” (Simon Brewer/Alistair Ramsden) – someone forgot what time we were all meeting apparently).
The boats took to the water and a good training session was had which finished off with a number of starts – many which were shocking as our RO for the day Marc Watts of CBYC using his Cork 1720 struggled to set a standard line, much laughter at “Sabre Sails” as a couple of them they went to the wrong line.
As you can imagine the competitive stakes were rising and we had no other option except start racing and decide who was quickest out the blocks on a short sharp windward/leeward course. Rather than bore you with a breakdown, notable moments are found below with the race winner:
Race 1 – won by “Adventure Wales” *highlight – "Doris" crossing the finish line and then lassoing the spinnaker onto the ODM (a yellow 5 knot channel mark with a big “X” on the top) and capsizing said £3k buoy
Race 2 – won by “Sabre Sails” *highlight – watching "Sabre Sails" Alistair nearly lose the crew on a gybe
Race 3 – won by “Sabre Sails” *highlight – would have been "Adventure Wales" losing a new £300 mast cam (which Nathan will have to explain – according to Gareth), but beaten by "Doris" deciding to mount a moored yacht on the end of the pontoon (nicely executed by Cockrill – video footage to be confirmed) on the way back to the slipway
Cue afternoon tea break – or light alcamaholic refreshments supported by Sabre Sails
Race 4 – won by “Doris” - *highlight – "Sabre Sails" helm Simon consuming most of Cardiff Bay as Doris sailed over the top right at the finish (no Simon, Alistair wasn’t laughing THAT much!)
Race 5 – won by “Doris” - *highlight – RO Marc Watts deciding to switch start lines with 20secs to go which caused great confusion to us all
All retired to the bar after a quick de-rig as the impending doom of Sunday’s forecast was a realisation that no sailing was going to happen. Gareth led the prize-giving where “Medals of Honour” were issued to everyone due to individual’s misfortune. Then onto the big trophy award, the “Cymru Cup” (well a very nicely dressed wooden spoon with the word LOVE written on) was presented to the team of Cockrill/Farr (Alex and Roz) “Doris” – something to do with count-back but a win’s a win right!
A great test event and a fantastic venue, the evening festivities in Cardiff were great (curry followed by drinks and dancing), and there is lots for families and partners to do if they don’t sail. We will be putting this into the 2014 calendar once the “Deed of Gift” (ok dates) is written.
Huge thanks to Gareth Davies for the prizes, Marc Watts for being our astute Race Officer and to Cardiff Bay YC for allowing us to use their facilities.