After the warmth of Margaret’s house in Suffolk, standing on a bleak ex-WWII runway with the wind whistling through the the big old hangers probably didn’t seem like a good idea. Of course it was! I was reunited with K144 and her freshly repaired mast after our little incident with a sand dune at the European Championships. Obviously thinking of S also, she got to sit in a car all weekend, out of the wind whilst recording sail numbers as they zoom past. What fun! See, always thinking of others.
For those who don’t know, Anglia Land Yacht Club is based at Bassingbourn Barracks between Cambridge and Bedford and features a 2km runway circuit. Concrete and tarmac, very little rolling resistance, fences and trees, a golf course and odd gusts make for some very exciting/scary racing. My top priority was to sail safely and not spend excessive amounts of money on things like, oh ummm, masts.
I throughly enjoyed the racing and was generally pleased with my performance. Several of the Class 3 pilots have noticed that the top 3 yachts are significantly faster than the rest of us. Technology moves on in an open class and if glory is what you need every regatta, then you have to spend money and constantly tinker to keep up. Yes I know, if I didn’t spend money on mast repairs then I could have bought a newer second hand sail or some decent pulleys.
The Friday we arrived in the area, we turned up at fellow Class 3 pilot Graham’s house. He invited us to stay on his driveway after deciding that Hans was too fat to fit into his back garden. The plan was to eat food and drink beer as preparation for the regatta. We pulled up outside his house and noticed the gap between the house and the tree was on the narrow side. Oops! Tape measure out and it’s not looking good. Hans will have to ease-up on the the Wurst and sauerkraut. Graham has an evil look in his eye and starts hacking at the tree with a saw! Stop! Feeling guilty about the tree, we convince him that we’ll stay in a nearby campsite. I fear the tree’s days are numbered. Having said that, it did look like it needs those side-burns trimmed a bit.
Before we head to the local campsite, we are fed a huge vegetable stew with dumplings and I manage to squeeze some more marmalade and Graham’s signature preserve, damson jam into Hans’s already bulging cupboards. And I was blaming Hans for eating too much!
Oh, it appears I’ve ended with the start of the weekend. Like many things in life, this brings me to a song or a film. For those who haven’t managed to sit through the gritty horror of Vietnam War film Apocalypse Now, I shall fill that gap in your life. It has one of the greatest starts to any film. The woop, woop sound of helicopters, morphing into the sound of a swooshing fan with a view from above of spaced out Martin Sheen on a bed. All to the soundtrack of The Doors playing This is the End. Start, war, despair, end. Cinema magic and little relevance to this blog entry!
AUSSIE DAD AND JAN
Speaking of movie references, your blog is like Pulp Fiction. Back and forth in time with the readers all wondering when it will all come together. Is the gimp really sleeping? Whose motorcycle was it anyway? Just so long as no-one starts quoting scripture, we should be OK. And, Hans is not fat, just thick!