Spoke too soon!

I was just saying in my last post about the Moth not beating me up like it used to and then I went to Thorpe Bay. We were greeted by a pretty solid breeze which did it’s best to give us all a good beating. When we rounded the windward mark we found the waves were suitably large that no-one could go downwind in any semblance of control. This resulted in a bunch of Moths sitting around, occasionally burning off for a few hundred yards before launching into a big ball of spray.
Top marks go to Ben Paton who’s admirable workrate saw him furthest upwind and the most attempts at downwind. Chris Rashley was the only one who managed a lap of the course and therefore won the race. He was also the only one still on the water when the 45+knot squall blew through with lightning and hail and all. Apparently he was wary of holding onto the boat in the water while that went on…
I tried all sorts to get downwind and at one point was heeled and bore off so far by the lee that the boat started to gybe itself while I was still hiking! The resulting capsize went fully inverted in the not so deep waters of Southend and the combination of the sea bed, tide and big waves was too much for my poor mast. I’ve now got two massive bruises on my legs and a damaged ego which will take some healing I feel! It was quite interesting as you couldn’t go slow enough to go down the waves without running into a steep dead end. You also couldn’t stay on the wave peaks going across it as you just had to bear off at some point and you were then doing 24 knots into a trough!
Saturday night saw the obligatory Essex dodgy disco and Jason Russell demonstrating his sketching skills…

It was with some reluctance that the fleet assembled on Sunday. Chris was mega keen and went out for the first one and to show us that we were silly, before being joined by a small following for the next races. I’d already packed up by then and had a missing trailer wheel bearing to sort out so decided to nurse my wounds and contemplate how to survive that in the future…