This weekend my wife and I went sailing together at Ripon Sailing Club. First on Saturday afternoon sailing amongst the young sailors on their Toppers and a few others out in a variety of boats including a number of Enterprises. The winds were light and we had a few hours of doing some basic sailing manoeuvres, teaching Sally how to move in the boat, what to do with the sail and when. We had a good few hours out on the water and went home tired, with a few aches but happy to be sailing together.
Sunday we went to South Milford Methodist Church were Sally is the minister and was taking the service. afterwards we went to the Sailing club and were in good time for the last race of the day in beautiful sailing conditions - a nice breeze, sunshine - fantastic!
Sally was nervous about racing but we got out on the water a little while before the start and sailed about just to get familiar with the conditions. With no watch (thanks to my daughter inadvertently taking to Uni with her) our start was guess work but it was reasonable if too close to the leeward bank. We were 5th at the first mark and managed to stay close to the top boats - the leader (the hot shot) got clear away but he does sail extremely well. We were caught by the 6th and 7th boats who slipped passed us when I overstood a mark but we overtook them both before the end of the 1st lap. We took another boat on the 2nd lap and held onto our 4th place to the finish. Mid fleet and I thought it was a reasonable result for our first race together in a long time.
Over the course of the race our team work got better and Sally started to move much more easily and sympathetically to the movement of the boat as the gusts hit and the boat heeled. Our tacking was very sluggish but it improved over the race; role-tacking is a skill yet to be mastered, and much the same for our gybes but we will get there. Next week Sally and I will sail on the Saturday - all being well and on Sunday I shall trail the boat via Sheffield to pick up Jo and then on to Rotherham for an open meeting. well that’s the plan and I should get my watch back too!