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We thought the Commodore was away with the “Ferries” until we saw the result.5th & 6th URDA Cup

Skilfully written by: Philip jones

Saturday 12th March saw the last of the Urda Cup Series, races 5 & 6 brought the competition to a close. After the first four races it looked to be a “one horse race” as Evans literally blew everyone off the water in his Laser. Four straight wins with two races to go and he was untouchable…so we thought!

Enter yours truly (Philip) asking what people were sailing as the series was pretty much in the bag.

Enter Gabby “I will sail an F15 if we can find a crew”

Enter David (the main challenger( “ I will take an F15 if there is crew”

Enter Tasneem “ Oh Evans (big smile) I have some relatives down from Nairobi can you take them out for the race?”

Evans “oh…OK “

Tasneem has a sweet smile no wonder he said yes!

So now we have it all, if everything stays the same his Urda Cup is safe and he has done a good deed to boot.

Beware the good deeds, remember no good turn goes unpunished!

Race one five F15s on the water with one lonely Laser sailed by Mohamed. Evans in an f15, Gabby in an F15, David in an F15, Huzeifa in an F15 and “yours truly” in an F15.

This made it a grudge match and the start was good with the exception of “yours truly” who took the wrong mark and when we rounded the correct mark two boats were 200 metres away and going like the clappers for Likoni.

Evans and Gabby were well on their way whilst Huzeifa and David were still fluffing around the start.

Neeral was crewing for me so I set him to work and we quickly ran the Mohamed, David and Huzeifa to ground. We had good position good wind and good speed until David found his sailing skills, over the next half mile he managed to open his sails up and power completely around and over the top of us. At Likoni he rounded 20 metres in front but we knew that from Likoni to South Reef our boat had been set to point much closer to the wind than any of the others. We would beat them up to South Reef!

Sure enough immediately after we turned and ran alongside the ferry from Likoni we went up and over David blocking his way to the next mark and killing his wind.

Now at this point I expected him to drop away and look for a lower point and more speed, to the surprise of myself (and I expect Davids crew) he threw in a tack (turn) crossed our stern and where he promptly ploughed straight into the Likoni Ferry!

Fortune was at hand as the rescue boat was immediately on the scene and towed them away from the ferry.

Our race continued and it was clear that on a tight upwind we had the upper hand and our point was a good 5 degrees better than anyone else. We chased Evans and Gabby across the harbour to just below the ferry landing on the Mombasa side and ended up at least 30-40 metres further seaward then them. Evans had been trapped behind Gabby and she held out to the end to keep advantage. He backed off and tacked behind her, we tacked away and she still had advantage following her tack. Once again the superior upwind trim on our boat quickly put us between Gabby and the next mark.

The rest of the race was a war as we caught and passed Evans in bouncy conditions and spray being blown into our faces. Round South Reef then turn for home (all down wind). Now we had a problem, all the other boats we can out point up-wind, however, down-wind they are all faster than us including Evans!

On the return run I noticed that Davids boat was dismasted, the impact with the ferry had ripped the starboard shroud from the mounting inside the boat, causing the mast to simply snap so once again the rescue boat was on hand to do what was required.

It became a cat and mouse game between us and Evans all the way back to the finish and we managed to hold him off to the end.

Back at the club it was obvious that Davids boat was trashed so it could not go out again, We re-distributed the crew to other boats whilst he set up his trusty Laser. Everyone was so busy sorting themselves nobody thought about it, except maybe David!

Out on the next race and the same story again, a battle royale on the water with the F15s nobody would give an inch, Neeral and I again last off the line chasing Gabby and Evans but after Likoni we had all the advantage as we worked our way through Green Cables heading for South Reef. Then disaster struck as a KPA tug came through towing a barge, we were trapped behind the barge which was blocking the way to the next mark. All the other boats we behind so the barge cleared them and they sailed past the stern of the huge thing. Neeral myself and our added crew of Kumail were tacking in and out and in and out until eventually we had to give up several hundred yards and by then Evans had the lead again. I seem to remember sailing like a man possessed shouting things like “Oh golly gosh” “Oh heavens” “Dearie me” If I am mistaken in those words please do accept my apologies.

We followed Evans round South Reef some 150yards adrift, so now the roles were reversed, we were chasing him back, David in his Laser powered past us down-wind. After Green Cables there is a short Upwind beat to Red Cables so we took the position back from him, Evans however was still 150yds ahead.

Down-wind to the ferries (David did manage to miss them this time) and Evans found himself positioned with the ferry blocking him thus we recovered 130yds in a single move. All the way to Peleleza by which time David had over-taken both F15s rounded the mark and he was heading for home. Evans rounded followed by us but it was upwind and we again had the advantage. The battle to the line was furious and frantic by both boats. On the finish line they were separated by one metre as we pipped Evans for the second time.

I looked back and if either Evans our ourselves had slipped up Gabby was right on our heels and could have beaten us both.

The rub came later when calculating the results, had David not crashed his boat and stayed in it Evans would have won the cup.

Had Evans swapped to a laser he would have won the cup.

These things did not happen so David won the cup by just 5 points after three weeks and 9 hrs sailing.

Hmmm maybe he is not just a pretty face.

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