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  • Writer's picturePhilip Jones

“BACK TO THE FUTURE” …… well back to Kilindini really!

Sunday 2nd February 2020 TUDOR CUP Tamarind Cup?

We were all getting ready to start the return race to MYC and the sailors were looking for the rescue boats to give the start signal. The rescue boats had decided to go to the jetty for a chit chat oblivious to the race starting. We sailed up and down waiting for them with tempers becaming a little frayed.

The final decision was to start without rescue boats! it was agreed we would all sail away from the line then turn on command and race to the start. In principal it all worked ….. until Seema made and emphatic claim to the “Capsize Queen” crown! In a magnificent display of rampant gybing she spun her boat round, launched herself into the sail which was on the water then had to swim round to the centreboard to bring her boat up. In all fairness she has that manoeuvre down to a fine art and by the time we reached the start she was already up and away.

The boats were tight in a group with David & Huziefa in the middle of the bay, Seema out in front and Frances next to Philip & Sakina who were nearest the south shore. Quite literally there was nothing in it for more than 200yds. The other laser with Oyo was fighting with the 420 of Munene & Hemimeh just a few metres back. As they progressed out of the Old Port the wind stayed with everybody and the boats nearest the north shore did not lose wind. In effect this meant that everybody on the south shore ran out of room and had to tack away. David & Huzeifa held their course and managed one complete tack less than all the other boats. As the fleet left the Old Port David & Huzeifa managed to whip out a huge lead of almost a quarter a mile. Philip & Sakina were spitting chips at being out-manoeuvred and set off after them. Frances stuck to Philip & Sakinas stern as they gradually whittled away at the lead to the Commodores boat. By the time they reached Green Inner which was the turning mark the difference was only around 15 boat lengths. These three boats had stolen away from the rest of the fleet and it was clear that one would win, provided they did not go the wrong way. They sailed round Red Inner and turned for Kilindini Harbour, it was a slow downwind run that needed a lot of attention. The Commodore made the decision to go wide and look for a fast reach back into Green Cable. The Vice Commodore held to a straight run and Frances followed the Vice Commodore. At one point David & Huzeifa were completely on the reef, and looked to be stuck, 100yds in front of them a 5ft high rogue wave came up and smashed over the reef which set Philip off in a rant at the safety boat who was too busy playing at being a spectator. Davids ploy at looking for a fast reach back failed to materialise as the wind shifted and this let Philip & Sakina through to take the lead. Philip & Sakina had a Wayfarer that had a down wind advantage whilst David & Huzeifas boat usually had an upwind advantage. Once through to the lead Philip & Sakina were not going to let anybody pass and they covered the rest of the course on their own. David & Huzeifa had to retire as the racing was so slow he was late and had to collect a friend from the airport. This let Frances through into second and when we were on the shore who should be in third place but the capsize Queen herself. 4th place went to Oyo and 5th place to the 420. Those were the “cross the line results” and will be looked at for handicap adjustment.

Once the handicaps are unravelled the full placing will be decided.

The boats were hauled, washed stored then everyone gathered for afternoon tea on the Quarterdeck. Tea was a gaggle of excited people chattering about their race and a load of fun to finish the day.

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