Our weekend at the Hayama Spring Regatta
Report by Tim
Excellent choice of Ryokan Kaikaso (thank you Mr Yamamoto
for arranging it), Mariko and Anna enjoyed filling their shoes with sand
every day on the beach.
Woke up on Saturday, no wind and very hot. My decision
to bring my winter steamer and Mayumi's Drysuit did not look good. Met
lots of friends at the beach and Mayumi went to the briefing.
Steamer/drysuit tied around waists and lots of sun cream.We sailed out
to the start, very light winds, Mayumi in the motorbike position upwind.
We had a good start and rounded 3rd at the windward mark behind Stawberry
Shake (Ishi-san) and the Tanaka's. Big pack very close behind I could
hear the bow waves. This is the scary part of sailing, tried to ignore
them, act cool, not look back and concentrate on the waves and keeping
the telltales streaming. The boats all stayed very close together and
the last beat was very exciting. Kanneko, Ozawa, Tanaka and us all swopping
places as we tacked up the last beat. Strawberry Shake held the lead and
we all finished very slowly but within a minute. George (who had had a
late breakfast) showed up and said hello just as we were finishing. He
wasn't even on the beach when we left for the start!
More wind, Mayumi trying to sit on the side. Most of the other crews are
leaning out upwind. We had an endless battle with Ishi-san. He's very
quick on the reaches. Ozawa-san overtakes us on the finish line.
Couldn't believe they could be so fast. It was very depressing watching
them sail away on every leg of the course. We felt very slow. Still struggling
to sit out Strawberry shake has a new name in our house, (its not so nice)
Strawberry shake overtakes us 20 meters from the finish.
Excellent but we had to leave early to see sunset over Fuji. Look forward
to seeing the full party report.
Yah tah! Our turn, same wind as race 1 but much cooler, steamer weather.
We had a start to dream of, right next to the committee boat clear wind
and rounded the windward mark first with a gap to the next boat that gave
us some hope. When we looked back at each bouy we are increasing our lead.
A wonderful feeling, we have never had this experience before.
Same wind, Mayumi still on the motorbike.
Bye bye George, just to show he can do it too.
Terrible start for us, we were shut out at the committee boat and had
to tack off and start late, but we are confident that we have good speed
in the very light wind. Though we started last we are looking forward
to the race as we have a tradition in our boat of a kiss for each boat
we overtake. (it works well for us, but might not be so good in an all
boy boat) Tack straight onto Port and head towards clear air. At the windward
mark we are 14th. Sail low on the reaches and get past some luffers. Go
the wrong way again (port tack) up the 2nd beat and get past another couple
of boats. Gybe immediately at the windward mark onto the run, away from
the boats ahead and pass another boat downwind. At the next windward mark
we are 3rd and very very happy. A couple of good tacks on the last beat
and we finish second. Snowy was flying. We didn't catch George but hope
he was scared when he looked back. Our lips were well used.
A big THANK YOU to everyone at Hayama. We will
be back next year. We look forward to seeing most of you in Whitstable
and more often in 2002.