Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Last of the Norfolk Summer wine

The day finally came - the day I knew was inevitable - the day I would leave Snettisham Beach Sailing club for waters new and uncharted (by me at least). The day marked the end of an era and the last summer of racing on the Norfolk coast, from now on I will be a visitor when I return, and I will return!

The reason for this sad day is our move of home to North Yorkshire, just east of Leeds in a place called Sherburn-in-Elmet - several miles from the coast! For a while it looks like we shall be pond sailors and the top favorite club in our vicinity is Ripon SC where there is an excellent fleet of Enterprises.
This summer has seen some great sailing and some frustration. This year in spite of being the quickest boat in the Enterprise fleet of the North West Norfolk Sailing Association Regatta we failed to retain our title. The reason was simply too many errors in too many races, we finished third overall but right upto the last day anyone of three of us could have won the event, it was that close.

This weekend saw the beginning of a new phase of my sailing, namely sailing with my wife crewing. Having moved house two weeks ago we returned to Snettisham with our tent for the August Bank holiday weekend with the plan of sailing together and then to bring the boat away with us to our new home. Sally has not sailed for many years and we have done little sailing together in the past so this new era heralds a new learning curve with many hurdles not least the need for us both to lose weight if we are to be competitive (something we need to do anyway for much better reasons: i.e. our long term health!! )

Saturday was deemed too windy by my wife so I was crewed by another Enterprise helm who discovered that crewing has a lot of challenges and getting the jib in tight takes some effort but pays dividends in sailing close to the wind. We had one capsize - the result of the crew slipping during a tack - but we were soon up and racing again.

The next day I managed to get Sally out in the boat but the conditions were if anything more windy. We didn't race but reached back and forth enjoying the incredible speed and the tension of sailing always on the edge of disaster. It was hard work and we soon came in but I reckon if Sally enjoyed that, and she did, then there would be few problems with fear in the future but we have some work to do to sail well together.

For a crew of two to get the best out of a boat there needs to be a degree of physical fitness, agility and knowledge of how to move in the boat. I liken it a sort of dancing on water where the movements of boat and crew need to be synchronous. There is footwork for each manoeuvre, knowledge and experience of just how fast to move and when, how to control the sails and the helm. When the team work is good the boat seems to manoeuvre effortlessly and quickly in all kinds of conditions and over long periods of time - and this is just one element of successful racing!







No doubt I will continue to sail with Jo, my daughter and possible Emma, my eldest (although she has her own boat) but it is inevitable that both will want to do other things with their time and it is right that they should. It is equally right that where possible Husband and Wife should enjoy doing things together and that is what I hope Sally and I will able to do in the years to come with our sailing.


The weekend was marred by the behaviour of a few unknown individuals who decided to 'steel' a couple of boats from the club, for some unknown reason, one they left upside down on the beach, the other they dragged on it trolley half a mile down the beach and over the sea wall into the bushes where they set up camp and proceeded to drink the contents of a least 100 can of larger.

They left an absolute mess and seriously damaged the boat they stole and then abandoned, the police did get involved but quite frankly they is little chance of the yobs responsible being caught. Perhaps the best thing that came out of it was the 20 or so club members who together recovered the boat and cleared away the mess and for me it was a lovely thing to see a community taking care of their own and their environment. A complete contrast to the company of idiots that made the mess and did all the damage. Long may sailing clubs promote such positive actions and attitudes!

5 comments:

Sally said...

new weight loss plan begins tonight, our butcher makes weight watchers recipie sausages, and they smell great!

Tillerman said...

Good luck in your new home. I hope you make some new sailing friends and find some great places to sail.

Tim said...

Cheers Tillerman. I'll keep you posted.

Pat said...

Ah, but it could be so much worse.

Visualize driving 150 miles....
just to get to a lake!

Tim said...

I am trying!......AHHHHH it hurts!!! Thats like 2hrs or more each way!
You have my deepest sympathy.