Monday, 8 June 2009

8 June 09 - Larnaca Kataklismos Regatta

11 nautical miles

Today was the Kataklismos Regatta, where the whole club sails round to Finikoudes and has a McDonalds lunch to celebrate after the races yesterday.

Did I say races yesterday? Well... I had planned for the races to be today, like they were last year... hence why I was taking Sean and Co out yesterday and then found they were yesterday and today was just regatta.

Oh well... never mind. The Optimists were out on the water first and we followed them.

I felt like a mother hen following her brood... they were so small and fragile looking compared to us.

One of the Optimists [not this one] got very behind so we stayed around to look after it. The two rescue boats were out chasing around having fun and burning fuel.

Actually when we stayed behind we had to motor too... I tried sailing on just genoa but couldn't hold same course as the slow Optimist... then I tried just main sail, but couldn't spill enough wind to stay with it.

Best was motor sailing with genoa and 2 HP Yamaha where I could regulate the speed with the motor.

The Optimist sailors ranged from very experienced, like James, to youngsters who had only been sailing a month. For them this was a great adventure, sailing 11 nautical miles rather than just back and forth in front of the club.

Sadly Nickos, the sailing instructor from the club was not with us today. A week or so ago he damaged his knee in a football accident and had it operated on last Friday so was sitting at the club with binoculars.

Jacob was particularly miffed about not racing. Talk about competitive! He just wants to race everyone.

Well hopefully I will start him on Optimists soon and will get a chance to learn to sail a small boat himself and then race. The club loves youngsters who will compete and with a will to win.

We passed a pleasure boat anchored fishing right next to a great big tanker.

Now that I did not understand at all. Why there? There is all this great big sea to fish in... why next to a great big tanker?
Well... actually two great big tankers if the truth be known.

Josh and Jacob were particularly impressed with the size of the anchor. Somewhat bigger than the boat we were sailing in.

I cannot think sailing those great hulks around the world is very exciting. and the fear of explosion from the fuel oil being carried would keep me awake at nights.

Josh also had a chance to helm Galini.

We had a meal this evening at the Offshore Sailing Club at the marina. Petros asked why I was taking so much... no, I spelled that wrong I mean tacking so much!

I think he thought I should have been awarded the prize for most tacks. He said I looked like a British 'man-o-war' the way we were tacking back and forth. Some of this was looking after the extra Optimist... some was getting too close to the marina and trying to avoid boats coming in or out... and some was crew training! Well... that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

But I must admit this is the strangest track I have had ever when I looked on Google Earth.

The Optimist fleet certainly looks a grand sight sailing across the bay.

The wind was light - Bft 2 all day which was good for the youngsters but would have given us more fun with a little more.
Well... even the more experienced Optimist sailors like James could do with more. But having people like James along meant there were coaches alongside almost everyone who needed help.

And when James got bored because of the calm?
Well... he stood up, rocked the boat and made his own waves!

After lunch at MacDonalds on Finikoudes it was time for a sail back. Jacob wanted to race Blue of course...
We did sail back together most of the way. Both of us goose-winged with whisker poles out. Because the Wayfarer is chined hull Josh, Jacob and I sat on the stern buoyancy tank to lift the front of the boat and make it plane slightly better. There was not really enough wind for that though.

I found a new move in sailing too... Neil came around and threw 'dirty wind' to me while running [I didn't know you could do this while running] forcing me to bear off toward the tanker. So that's what racing is about eh? OK, we're not racing really.

A very enjoyable time.

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