Frostbite Pursuit Race & Xmas Party

Sunday 15th December saw the traditional end of season frostbite pursuit race followed by the Xmas party in the club house, with the prize giving for the recent frostbite open series.

The pursuit race was very much aimed at being a fun event with the main prizes being awarded for the best decorated boat and the best fancy dress, won by Santa and Rudolph respectively! However to ensure an even competition for those who do take it seriously, it was run on a personal handicap basis with each boat’s start time determined by their performances during the season. To make it easier for the race officers it was a Le Mans style start with crews starting from the launching area, with the boat afloat and being held by a least one crew member until their start signal.

First off was last year’s winner Catriona with fairy lights lit and tinsel flowing, who promptly sailed off in the wrong direction; maybe she was giving everybody else a chance this year! Over the next 40 minutes boats set off at various intervals, with some being more serious about the start than others. Santa who had plenty of time to decorate his sledge left it rather late to launch, and lost vital time attaching his rudder and outhaul whilst drifting across the lake after his start signal. Last to leave was the Mr Turtle and crew in his Snowball, and they were very quickly looking more like the Hare than his land based equivalent. As the time counted down a clear winner emerged, although the gap back to the pursuing bunch had been closing quickly. However, once ashore our winner retired in a exemplary show of sportsmanship after admitting to going the wrong way a round a mark which nobody else had seen! That meant the winners were Steve and Andy in their Shooting Star 2000, who probably made the most relaxed start of the whole fleet!

Results of the personal handicap pursuit race can be found here and the frostbite open series here.

Photo’s from the pursuit race courtesy of Carl Jones.

Jon Edwards

I started messing about in boats at school, did my National Elementary Dayboat Certificate (a predecessor of the current level 2) in 1980 and have carried on ever since. My first sail at Shotwick Lake was back in '91 and I've been a member for the majority of the years since. My boat owning history is very simple; I don't do "narrow" as testified to by an International Moth, 2 Merlin Rockets and 2 RS300's, all of which are between 6' 7" (2m) & 7' 5" (2.25m) wide! But that said I'll sail almost anything and have in most cases, including the Laser, Laser 2000, Topper, Solo, Wanderer, Albacore, Wayfarer, RS400, RS100, RS700, 59er, Pico, Laser 4000, RS Vareo, Enterprise, Scorpion ..... Racing is very much my thing in all its forms, whether it is around the cans at Shotwick, the Merlin Rocket nationals around Olympic triangle courses with 1 1/2 mile beats, the Lord Birkett on Ullswater (200 boats; 19 miles) or the Round the Isle of Sheppey race (32 miles) with the unique feature of having to capsize the boat to get it under the bridge. I've even managed to fit in team racing in Pico's too! And as I advance in age I've even ventured in to yachting, doing the round the Island race on a couple of occasions. This is an annual race around the Isle of Wight with up to 1,500 yachts of all shapes and size participating.