The December Fast Cruise and Results
The final Fast Cruise of 2014 finished at the Folly with the Fancy Dress and frolicking on the tables. After the "weather bomb" on Wednesday and Thursday we woke on Saturday morning to very light airs from the N to NW but with some sunshine.The start was at Mother Bank where the usual reprobates gathered at 1100. The short course fleet headed towards SE Ryde Middle whist the yachts on the longer course aimed for E Bramble but with the light winds and the tide still wanting 3 days to neaps it was a struggle to cross the main channel. The wind gradually increased to around 10 knots and the boats gradually made their way towards their respective rounding marks. For most of the morning the wind maintained about 10 knots but was very variable in direction but with about 3 hours of flood tide remaining boats struggled to make way against the tide.
I was sailing on a boat in the short course and soon lost sight of the long course fleet. From my point of view Finesse, a Finngulf 33, appeared at times to be the only one moving forward over the ground. However, as the day progressed, the tide eased off and boats managed to make progress. Unfortunately, at slack water the wind dropped of altogether and crews were desparately seeking zephyrs in the Solent. At this point Finesse had already rounded the last buoy which meant that it would not be possible to shorten the short course but the tide was now turning and helping boats towards the finish at Prince Consort buoy.
It turned out that the conditions were just too hard for the longer course fleet with only one boat, Oxygen, managing to finish but after 1600hours. The majority of short course boats, however, finished the course before the sun had set.
The Christmas Fancy Dress in the Folly was the same as ever. Good Food followed by the table dancing. Barrie Martin kindly donated one of his home made Christmas puddings as a prize for the first boat in the December Fast Cruise and this was won by Liam Hayes in Finesse who was first on both LSC handicap and the Progressive handicap. (Can the person in the berth next to Finesse tie a bucket around her keel before January?!) The results for both December and overall positions on LSC handicap are here and Progressive handicap here.
The fancy dress competition results, judged in true Eurovision style, by participating crews was Finesse (as Father Christmas (with a brown beard!) and his reindeer) 1 vote, Oxygen (as doctors and nurses) 2 votes (I think they lost some votes by using their hyperdermic syringes as water pistols), A day at the races (The Marx Brothers) 3 votes and Solid Air (Vikings) 5 votes. I therefore declare Solid Air the winner of the Fancy Dress. The prize will be awarded at the March Fast cruise evening.
Lastly I must apologise for not securing berths for everyone on the walk ashore pontoon this year. I have learnt from my mistake and it is already booked for next Decenber. The date for your diaries is 5th December 2015 which is also a neap tide. Merry Chistmas to all and I will see you next year on 31 January for the Fast Cruise to Town Quay, Southampton.