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Met & Southern Marblehead Championship.

Updated: May 12, 2021

Metropolitan & Southern District, Marblehead Championship & Games event.

Saturday 7th May.

Two sailors represented EDMBC at this event which was held at Guildford MYC Abbey Meads lake, Mark Robinson with his Grunge and myself with my Astrix.

The weather leading up to the day was forecasting heavy rain and strong winds but as the day approached the rain forecast diminished to just the morning but the wind strength was gusting 35 mph.

On arrival I had a problem with my rudder not working. Inspection revealed that the nut holding the steering arm to the rudder servo had come undone in transit and was missing. A quick repair with a bit of superglue on the thread would hold it in place well enough for the day. Unfortunately removing the deck patch in the rain meant it didn’t really stick back properly. (More on that later).

There were 10 entrants from clubs in the area with 4 Grunges making up nearly half the fleet. Racing got underway at just after 10 on an upwind downwind course. Fortunately the rain had stopped.

I have only used my Astrix twice since buying her and neither Mark nor I had sailed our boats in such strong winds. This was definitely a B/C rig day and I didn’t really have a good enough rig to be competitive but I was getting mid fleet finishing positions. Mark was doing better and was up with the leaders.

There was a lot of broaching, diving and loss of control of boats during gusts. Unfortunately I got badly hit and mounted by another boat in race 4 which was out of control in a gust and I had to retire. My boat almost sank with the weight of the other boat on top of mine, partly because the deck patch hadn’t stuck back on properly. It was too badly damaged to repair on site and the sail winch had stopped working.

Roger Stollery was kept busy in the rescue boat recovering yachts with broken masts, electrical failures due to water ingress, bent rudders and rigging failures. After lunch in the strengthening winds most competitors changed to C rigs.

Mark suffered with the goosenecks mounting screws pulling out of both his B & C rigs but managed a creditable 3rd overall.

It was a good learning curve for me and the first time I had sailed against top ranking skippers and in such strong wind. Will I do another one? Initially I thought no but after spending two days repairing my boat and rigs maybe?

Michael Thomas

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