Return of The Golden Snitch.
Hello all from Snitchy the RS Aero.
I’ve finally been released from my winter prison cell.
Owner is a cruel witch, who has locked me away in a small concrete shed for many months. I have been in solitary confinement apart from a brief visit from a rounded, jolly man with a white beard, red suit and a herd of jittery animals (he was lost). I also had sporadic visits from a rude squirrel who often walked over my clean decks with dirty feet, bad breath and stale armpits.
The dark nights dragged on.
Finally, the doors were flung open this week and there was much ooh-ing and aaahh-ing about the tiny muddy footprints and anxious speculations about what might be found inside my sailbag. Fortunately, Nutbreath had moved elsewhere and my body parts were all intact and in fine working order.
After a quick journey, I was launched onto the Marine Lake for the first two races of the season’s opening Easter series. Good Friday was pleasantly sunny, with a natty little breeze to entice 13 boats out on the water. The best bit about Good Friday was seeing all my friends from last season and trying to elbow them off the start line just like old times. Despite our jovial jostling, we all managed to pick a different route to the first mark. Some of these routes had wind, others had none. This was the theme of the first race, as we rounded the mark and tried to find bits of wind to sail in. It was a good day for the Solos and the Firefly who found enough breeze to stay with the faster boats in the light airs. The second race involved a running start in a steadier breeze. We all set off in a very long line and going the same speed. This was fun until the buoy turned up to spoil the game. At least it meant that there was plenty for the Owners to talk about and I could tell by how excited they were, that they had missed each other very much too. Whilst all this talking was going on, us boats were having a freestyle spin and lurch competition. The RS300 got totally carried away and capsized in front of me, so we did some dodging as well as lurching. I finished the day with a 10th and a 9th. My report card read thus;
“Room for Improvement”
“Snitchy needs to concentrate more in Class”
I was left in the Boatpark the next day to think things over. Secretly I was rather pleased as it was very wet, cold and rather windy, though 3 brave boats did sail the 2 tidal races.
I Got up on Easter Sunday to bright sunshine, no wind and clear blue skies. It looked so much better than the dark grey garage and I resolved to try harder to please Owner.
A small breath of shifty wind started to blow from offshore, so no performance promises were made. In the first race, the wind moved around most points on the compass and I was quite dizzy with the amount of sailtrimming that Owner was doling out to keep me drifting slowly towards the first mark. This mark turned out not to be a windward mark by the time I got there and, after beating to the leeward mark, which was only a leeward mark for a few chosen boats at random moments during the leg, I was confused and wondered if Nutbreath had indeed nibbled on my inner earparts during a boring and unfulfilling visit. The race continued in its baffling inverted yo-yo-ness (some new Snitchy words I’ve created for you in those long, dark, lonely months) and I even heard the Albacore ahead of me ask the RO why we needed to cross the line mid-race on the run. Because it was the upwind leg of course. Of course. Of course. Of course (a little Snitchy joke. You can laugh there). Where was I? Oh yes, the finish. Thank heavens.
Second race – new wind, new course. I made the perfect windward end of line start. On the buzzer. My report would read;
“Superb, timing, control, balance, feel and momentum”
“Snitchy is fabulous and deserves a fleet of adoring moral-less Finns to follow in it’s wake”
“Snitchy deserves a kind Owner who takes it out sailing in the winter and doesn’t lock it up in a concrete cell with a psychotic squirrel”
Should anything untoward happen to me, let it be said that I have objected folks.
Back to the race (I think I lost a few minutes there..) I got to the windward mark in third place. I gave Owner back the control and the wind became fickle once more. The cramped sailing position was playing havoc with her knees, so Owner decided to try out a new sailing position; sprawled across my foredeck in an unseamanlike manner, with a boot wedged against my boom. I think she was unaware of how little rudder or transom was in the water with her not-so-featherweight bodymass rammed up my nose. Luckily there was no gust, although she did allow the speedier Falcons with their enormous bloomers (sorry, spinnakers) to overtake us downwind. We stayed low to stop us being carried off to Hilbre Island by the tide and managed to finish the race upright and together – a feat which I hope will keep me out of the garage for a little longer!