The third race of the BPYC Spring Series saw more action and intrigue prior to the start than during the actual race itself.
Due to a mysterious technical error (AKA the skipper being an idiot), Attila discovered their ship’s batteries were entirely flat, meaning a race with no instruments, and more importantly no fridge. All beers on board were thus consumed on the way to the start line, no doubt contributing to the air of festivity, and a dogged determination to get the race over with and back to the pub as quickly as possible.
Out of the Blue made a welcome return to racing and ensured they would be celebrating a first before the race even started. Congratulations to Allan and Judith who welcomed their very first grandchild, baby Mae, to the world this week.
Over on One Mo’ Time, a crew shortage led to a surplus of pies on board, resulting in the generous, and slightly suspicious, offer to transfer some free pies to the Attila crew prior to the start. Knowing that Duncan has a track record of biological warfare, including tutelage under the wing of Colonel Gaddafi [the only true thing in this race report], Attila wisely resisted the temptation and instead chowed down on Brad’s highly innovative concoction of chicken salad wraps. Seemingly, they had both chicken and salad in them, thus demonstrating Brad’s unerring ability to scale new heights of culinary inventiveness.
Blue Sky also made their debut for the season. Last seen almost 18 months ago when they swept all before them, Carl, Zach and co put the wind up the race committee by their very presence, and were rewarded with a 32 minute handicap. Lessons on sandbagging from Out of the Blue had clearly not been heeded, and a swingeing penalty was deemed by all to be a fair and just reward for previous demonstrations of competence on the race track.
Not to be out-penalised, Charlie on the start boat turned up all alone, no doubt as a self imposed penance for allowing himself to be distracted by the Angels on board during the prior race. Amusingly, Wherever became a de facto mark of the course for another fleet racing on the harbour, affording Charlie the opportunity to try and flag down any passing boats that appeared to have a bevvy of beauties on board. Despite the irresistible temptations on hand, he was able to find new levels of concentration, and managed to get all flags and sound signals raised and tooted on time.
By contrast, Celete were keeping themselves to themselves during the pre-start, but more than made up for it by finding themselves in a desperate port/starboard incident with Out of the Blue right on the start line.
Becalmed for fully 4 minutes after their gun, they found themselves drifting towards the pin and gave up what little momentum they had by throwing in a last second tack, only to find Allan and crew bearing down on them on starboard. With no way on at all, Celete was unable to take avoiding action, and instead politely invited Out of the Blue to go forth and multiply on the opposite tack.
Obviously suffused with bonhomie, good humour and grandfatherly wisdom, Allan took the smart option of throwing the helm over, and disaster was narrowly averted.
Next to start was Attila, and despite the distraction of intense debate about the merits of Married at First Sight, they remembered just in time that there was a race to be run and got underway chasing down Celete and Out of the Blue.
Speculation quickly mounted on board Attila about the the lack of pies and chicken salad wraps on Celete. There could be no other explanation for why they seemed so intent on tying up to KFC – clearly Webby had decided that he fancied a bucket of chicken and fries for lunch.
With either expert knowledge of, or blatant disregard for, the Racing Rules of Sailing, Attila hounded Celete at the mark, and passed by close enough to smell the secret herbs and spices. Or perhaps Alan had just missed his weekly bath.
Either way, they were quickly dispatched, and with Out of the Blue finding less tide but also less wind inshore, Attila scorched up to the turning mark Lady Bay in first place.
In the meantime, One Mo’ Time had got underway, and seeing Attila’s unassailable lead, discussion had already turned to how much Duncan was going to stiff them at the next handicap committee meeting.
By the time Blue Sky started, Attila was already round the top mark and trying to understand why the close reach on the way up the course was now being reciprocated by a beat on the way back. Either the wind had changed, or the pre-race libations had muddled their minds. No matter, the kite was finally able to be flown after Shark Island, and a parched Attila crew crossed the line in first place, rejected Charlie’s kind offer to send them round again, and headed off to the pub to slake their thirst.
There were no such problems aboard Out of the Blue, who romped home in second place with a surplus of beer on board, something that Allan was surprisingly happy to admit in the pub afterwards.
One Mo’ Time were next to cross the line, with the debate about Attila’s handicap now reaching fever pitch, and suggestions that she be disqualified from the next race for sheer unbridled competence being seriously entertained.
Blue Sky broke out their spinnaker for the first time ever, which was enough to see them finish fourth ahead of Celete, who limped over the line 2 days, 3 hours and 17 pieces of hot and spicy chicken after Attila.