Wow, that was an eventful night…
Although the forecast called for sustained winds of about 7 knots, with gusts of up to 18, Those arriving at the club were greeted with winds at a sustained 15 knots and gusts of who knows how big. The waves were huge (if you were in a trough in a Laser, you would look “up” to see the next wave coming). But, KSC sailors are not so easily daunted, and Mario was out dropping marks, so into the boats we went!
As start time approached, the wind intensified. The AP flag flew, and first start was postponed since so many people had trouble launching in the heavy chop. A few minutes later (now that a few boats were out) the sequence started, but few folks were anywhere near the start line. At least one Laser sailor (who shall remain nameless, but who may or may not be writing this post) got stuck going backwards for several minutes — as soon as he’d get out of irons, the wind induced so much weather helm that it spun him right back in!
A few minutes later, when it was obvious that no one was going to be able to cross the start line, let alone run the course, the race was called, and people did their best to point their craft to shore. A few dramas were had as people fought to get their boats in, but in the end everyone made it back to the deck safely for well earned burgers and drinks (and lots of “Let me tell you about my nasty capsize tonight” stories).
At the end of the night, Mario sent out the recorded wind speeds — sure enough, sustained winds of around 16 knots (manageable) and gusts of 29 (not so manageable, at least for me in a full rig)!
A huge shout out goes to RC Mario and Andy, food-duty Arthur, Luc who helped another sailor get a Byte back to shore and to the club after it had blown downriver. Also, let’s hear it for our Learn-to-sail contingent (Heather and Andy L) who braved the elements (please let me know if I’ve forgotten anyone)!