It's November. Carry On Squibbing ....

Racing Squibs - but not at Weymouth.

Ordinarily, on chilly Thursday mornings in November, most Squibbers can be seen shuffling along to the local public library for a read of the papers in the warm. Not so this season. Inspired by some glorious sailing during the October Thursday Morning race series, the Squibbers collectively decided to, …well, just carry on sailing in some Fun Races.

After a lengthy but incomprehensible briefing on the idea of ‘fun’ Squib racing, eight boats including the Club Squib, Artful Dodger, took to the water on Thu 15th Nov for an inaugural Thursday Morning Fun Race. Since it was not a formal race series and since there was no trophy at stake, it was, officially, a Non-Event. Even so, it proved an excellent opportunity to avoid the B-word for a couple of hours. And it’ll keep going as a weekly non-event until the weather and good sense finally drives us ashore and back to the library.

An excellent race offered a great chance for some new helms and crews to gain experience in unfamiliar roles and on unfamiliar boats. Gate starts, in particular, can take a bit of getting used to and are not easy to judge perfectly. Start early as the gate opens? Or late, further along the line, sacrificing time for windward gain? How far along the line dare one go before the gate closes? There’s no right answer and, as usual, conditions dictate. What’s the key thing for new Squib helms to remember at a gate start? Just breathe. Normally.

At the finish, Richard Frost and Simon Vines in Hope, just pipped Adam Bowers and Wendy Smythe in Speculator. Iceni Rebel, crewed by Caroline Nairn and Ray Capp, were close behind to take third place and Jubilation, with Graham Calvert steering his first Squib race, came a very creditable fourth. (Graham and Diane Calvert, by the way, became new members following the RYA Push The Boat Out Day.)

So, on Thursday mornings, whenever the weather Gods choose to smile favourably, we’ll just carry on Squibbing. It’s fun.

Submitted on Saturday, 17th November