Questionable Queen Mary
LWA at Queen Mary Sat 15 May 2021:
An even better turnout than we had expected, a total of 24 sailors, arrived at Queen Mary. It seemed that we made the correct decision to postpone the event for a week, but unfortunately this time the wind was going to be at the opposite end of the spectrum from the previous week. We rigged up on QM’s new astroturf area, which although somewhat reduced in extent, was generally well received by our sailors. A sailor from the distant past, Philip Jackson, whom some of us had known as a young lad, was a very welcome addition to the fleet. Aidan, son of our late committee member John Liddy, who was over in the UK from Australia, was on duty in the rescue crew.
We went out to race more in hope than expectation and the wind proved to be anything from flukey to zero. The course was a large box, in anticipation of slightly more wind, but by the end of Race One it was clear that it had to be reduced in size to permit some lapping of the back markers.
The front three places in Race One were taken by Rob Kent, Paul Leone and Kevin Greenhough, with Nick Kidd in 4th.
For Race Two the course was reduced to a triangle, which somewhat reduced the amount of pumping necessary to get round, but then the wind died completely. Rob, Kevin and Paul again filled the top slots, followed by Emily Kent in her best race of the day. It was a struggle to get back to the clubhouse for lunch, many of us resorting to paddling!
Lunchtime provided an opportunity for us to catch up with friends whilst waiting for the wind to appear and for the rain shower to finish, but by this time a good half dozen sailors had decided to call it a day for various reasons. The forecast suggested more wind around 3pm and sure enough, by about 2:40 some dark clouds produced a nice little breeze, but from the south. By the time the course was tweaked and we all reached the start line, the wind was already beginning to fade, and once again we raced in ever diminishing wind. Rob and Paul slogged it out at the front followed by Jon Davis and Annette Kent.
By the end of Race Three several more sailors had decided to head for the clubhouse, but a determined group remained on the water, keeping an eye on the dark storm clouds moving our way, which were bringing the promise of some stronger wind, which did indeed arrive. However when most of the fleet had rounded the windward mark for the first time a huge clap of thunder was heard, accompanied by the most gigantic flash of forked lightning. This of course meant that we had to get off the water as soon as possible and the race was abandoned. Waving 5 metres of highly conductive wet carbon fibre is not to be recommended when lightning is around. So we sailed back to the clubhouse, with some sailors taking advantage of the wind by blasting around in the back straps – yes it was the best wind of the day!
All in all, a frustrating experience for most people, but it was great to see so many of our windsurfing friends again.
1: Rob Kent (1st Grand Master)
2: Paul Leone
3: Kevin Greenhough (1st Master)
4: Nick Kidd (1st Supervet)
6: Emily Kent (1st Lady)
14: Guy Gibson (1st Youth) same points total (25) as
15: Richard Williams (1st 7.8)