Sunday morning was the round Hilbre race, which always proves to be a challenge, often in variable conditions. Today proved no different, with three catamarans leaving the beach in less than five knots of wind, hoping to ‘round the islands’. The RO (a wise man) offered a short course option of D15 opposite the Marine Lake. It was decided that the first boat to reach D15 would make the decision to either carry on around Hilbre, or shorten the course and return to the line.
Simon and Chantelle on the Dart 18 made a confident start heading straight through the line. The slightly heavier Hurricane 5.9’s belonging to the Baines brothers and to team Goudie, took a little longer to cross the start line, around 15 minutes! Anyway the race was on; basically a single beat to D15. After much drifting and occasional backward sailing the fleet reached D15. The Baines were in the lead at this point, and approached the mark, only to find a WKSC launch towing the buoy away! A polite request to leave the mark for five minutes was rejected with the words, “It’s a West Kirby mark!!” Team Goudie tried to round the launch, but this proved too dangerous in the light winds.
With the tide turning, the decision was made to return to the club. Once again Hilbre Island had defeated us (it appears easier to summit the Eiger). The return journey resulted in the Baines retiring (no wind on their inshore route home), and Team Goudie and Team Morruzi, battling to the finish line. Well done Team Morruzi – Neighbour for taking the victory.
On our return to the beach, there was time to watch the cruising fleet hauling their boats ashore for winter. We looked on in awe, as teams of oilskin clad men pushed and shoved the cruisers onto trailers and cradles, ready to be collected by our Captain. Mark appeared to be in his element towing the cruisers off the beach. There was some excellent team work being demonstrated by the cruising fleet and Captains team.
There also appeared to be some rescue boat training going on, the author is not sure about the detail, suffice to say that we noticed Dee RIBS full of people, who looked like they were being trained! ‘If in doubt, flat out’ Colin McRae (1994), and Robert Clarke 2012!
Back in the club, House & Social (Lyn & Co Ltd) served fish chips and mushy peas, with cheesecake or pumpkin pie for desert. The food was fabulous, the fire was lit, and the sun was almost setting! All in all, a fabulous day at Dee Sailing Club, apart from the very light winds.