Spectator Jerry Ping 2009
Spectator: Jerry Ping (2009)
Posted 1st June 2009
Waif said: "As Vacuna sailed on we got to the side of the Ant to discover that the end of the bow sprit had broken and we had no choice but to retire."
And what a sad moment it was too. I was standing with the little crowd on the Hall Farm bank and just about everyone watched the incident, a heart-stopping mass sigh as the crunch came.
It was a very unfortunate racing incident that, in different circumstances, might have seen a protest and stewards thumbing the pages of the rule book. Sorry if I've got it wrong but from what I could see it wasn't clear whether someone's look-out had failed to see the other boat, but what I did see was that the downwind boat was left with nowhere to go. No need to say any more, except that it's always such a shame when the innocent boat's day comes to an abrupt end. The upwind boat could have yielded and it wouldn't have made a jot of difference to her progress.
Very sad indeed, particularly as it was plain that Waif had been badly baulked by two slower boats on the way up to the Ant guard-ship and performed a marvellous spin turn to try to get ahead for the downriver leg. I think Waif overhauled one, if not both the other boats on the turn. It's well worth watching those skills.
Waif's tack at the Ant guard-ship was so quick it was second only to Slantendicular's instant spin around her Scalextric keel, which prompted a sharp intake of breath from some spectators. I'm wondering whether Slanty really has a keel at all. I don't know if it isn't a telescopic spike that Steve rams into the river bed when he wants to turn a bit sharp.
Very well done to Mat too, for getting Perfect Lady 9 round in the narrow bit with room to spare. I'd have been nervous to try it with a rudder that doesn't go beyond 45 degrees so can't be used as an emergency brake.
Many thanks to everyone who provided marvellous entertainment to those of us unable, yet again, to enter. Congrats to all finishers and commiserations to those who didn't finish for whatever reason, I know that it's damned annoying when conditions are so good.
Mat: Side-by-side all the way round next year, mate. Fancy a share in that curry.
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