Zephyrs and Rabbit racing

15 Jan

What is rabbit racing? You may wonder.

Plan A:  There are usually a few real bunnies to be found around TYPBC. We take them out in our Zephyrs, throw them overboard, and race them back to shore?. NO, the problem is that the paintwork gets scratched, not to mention the Zephyr sailor. To counter this problem, Geoff Collins cleverly painted the inside of his boat purple, to hide the blood stains. Patrick Mc Daniel has now bought the boat, so we will see if he continues the tradition.

So, Plan B: we find some human bunnies, throw them overboard?. NO, they are a bit hard to come by, and the Coastguard got tired of the call outs. They tend to be not so good at swimming as the real bunnies.

Plan C: let’s do some rapid fire racing. The plan, not always well executed, is that we do continuous windward/ leeward short laps, with the rest of the fleet having to go behind the stern of the last boat (i.e. the rabbit) every round. The problem usually is that the last boat does not realise that they are last, sees the rest of the fleet relaxing, and joins them. The Zephyrs usually do some in the Christmas / new year period, and this year, the Lasers have often joined in.

Once we ironed those problems out (gee, those irons are heavy, and hard to throw at another Zephyr), we had a great little session last Wednesday evening, in a dying sea breeze.  4  Zephyrs and one Starling.  After Hansie laid the top mark, I won the first lap, by brilliantly getting an inside overlap at the bottom mark, the big Otumoetai A beacon just off the club, beating out Hansie , and Bob (Smyth), who were in front at the top mark . Great work by me!. Next, I decided to show how smart I was, by promptly tacking. The problem was that I had overlooked the strong incoming tide.  Next minnit, I was hard against the mark, listening to little zip-zip noises coming from above. I was really struggling to get away, and when I looked up, I saw a rip, about a foot long , in the sail. Great plan, Andy. Anyway, that mucked up the rabbit plan, with all gathering around to  gloat. So, they needed to be taught a lesson. Some of us are tough, and are not put off by minor problems such as holey sails.

Another lap, with big shifts, and puffs (well,  they were relative) saw the holy sail well in front. Another 5 or so lap races  followed, with most wins to the holy one, and some to Hansie, and Bob. Herman Rooseboom also got up there a few times. Emil Rooseboom, in the Starling found that these conditions suited the Zephyrs better, unlike the previous session, where his superior tactics often saw him in front of most of the Zephyr fleet. Or maybe he just had to let his Dad win occasionally?.

We were joined for a beer by the crafty old bastard, Pete Stacey, who was able to point out all the errors in our tactics. Funny how the best tacticians are always the spectators.

Next rabbit racing day is on Sunday, 17, be at the club at 1pm.  Cheers, Andy.

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