Today started in an interesting way for your correspondent. The wind at 6am had reached a level that was making the floorboards in his bedroom rise and fall. Luckily the aftermath of the previous day’s survival celebration meant it was possible to register this and roll over with the assumption that sailing might be off.
It was no surprise that when floorboards rise before the sailors it turned out not to be a good day to take a dinghy on the Tremadog bay waters. With little else to do your intrepid reporter went to the South Caernarfonshire Yacht Club storage bay to catch up with his friend the Windward Mark.
It turns out that quite a lot has happened since we caught up in Hayling Island last year and he had some interesting thoughts on recent events:
Your newshound (YNH) : So what is going on in the marking world?
Windward Mark (WM) : Well, the big news is that I have settled down, put down my anchor so to speak.
YNH: Have you become a “One club” buoy?
WM: No, I have settled down in the family way. I met a leeward mark at last year’s 200 Champs and we got together at the final night disco. We have been virtually inseparable since then, even at the America’s Cup when she was on the course both days that they sailed. I wasn’t so happy about that though as she does have a bit of a thing about Ian Percy.
YNH: Do you mind me asking, which of the gate marks is she this week?
WM: Well, that is a problem that I have as well. Her identical twin is working here too and I did get confused in the shed after the first days racing.
YNH: What happened?
WM: I snuggled up next to the Left Leeward Mark, got a shout from the Right Leeward Mark, and before I knew it I had the air taken right out of me…. It could have been a lot worse, on Sunday that dumpy spreader mark tried to get too close to me on the water and I had to sleep with the ground tackle so as not to be molested overnight!
YNH: Do you mind if we move onto the regatta? Who has impressed you so far?
WM: Well as you know I have a bit of thing for the pretty girls which is one of the reasons I like the 200s. Jo Wright has been pretty special and her and James have been very fast. Ally Martin has been the other one to watch. She is very hot… on the water I mean… can you leave that out of the copy! Anyway Ally had a cracking day yesterday and that was despite having a meeting of minds with her boom. I think my favourite might be Emma Norris. She even gave me a little nudge and a wink as she went past yesterday. That is one of the things I like about this class, when you tap the boats as they go past they don’t get anything like as cross as they do at other events.
YNH: What about further down the fleet, anybody to watch there?
WM: So. I have been taking a keen interest in the Masters. Andy and Jill seem to be having a good week and are looking pretty strong but then you and Caroline are not out of the hunt just yet. How old is she? She must be a grandmaster.
YNH: Ummm… She is definitely a grandmother but I don’t think that she is that old.
WM: Well you should know, but I have heard a lot of the younger sailors saying that she is an “inspiration”…
YNH: Are you looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow?
WM: I hope so, though the forecast is looking a bit tough and it will need all my kedging ability just to stay on station. It is definitely going to be a tough week for my fixing and fastenings and I just hope that I can hold up. I was wondering about some of that EPO that all the cyclists are taking but I am planning to go with WD40 as that is more my style.
YNH: Good luck. What have you got planned for the evening?
WM: My main aim is to get the right Leeward Mark and not get into the same sort of trouble I did last night. I wish they would wear different colour coverings or maybe just get different sponsors. Still a little badly judged cuddle never hurt anyone.
YNH: Indeed, but I don’t think I should agree with you as my wife might be reading. I hope for your sake that you don’t get into too much trouble as it looks like being a bad night to be outside. Good luck for the rest of the week and I hope that we can report on some proper racing tomorrow.
by M.J. Gifford