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WE ARRIVED at Mumbles Y.C. and one of the hosts jumped on the bonnet, led us to the car park, unhooked and rigged the Flag Ship, parked the car and had us in the bar in 5 minutes flat. And not just for us - the  reception arrangements at the WeIsh Championships were excellent, as was the whole weekend. Facilities in the Clubhouse are positively palatial — the hinterland provides everything for families, marvellous beaches,
climbing, outstanding scenery — the Gower laid at your feet — with good sailing in the bay and traditional Welsh hospitality. AND bottle walking.

Carol Mason kindly consented to come around the course with me and I have a confession to make — I got bitten by the Racing Bug. We never found out what was happening up in the front of the fleet, except that the Dane brothers from Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club were winning — but at the back. tomtoms beat on the foredeck to signal ‘I am coming passed', cut throat opposition from locals and from
visitors alike .  . .

Then the Royal Victoria Y.C. Isle of Wight Open. Once more a borrowed crew and wonderful hospitality. An unfortunate mistake meant that we tand everyone else) had one less race to count — but the weekend was most enjoyable. and I learnt lots like just because you come round a buoy and onto a reach once, doesn’t mean you always do that. Sometimes you come round the same buoy, and are expected to go off in quite a different direction. There are things called tides, too. Julie and I hove too, wondering if it was all worth it. Then, the last boat by about half a mile, decided to ‘follow round and see what the others do.’ And at the end of the beat we had picked up two places! By going inshore when all the rest went out to sea. So we tried it again on the next beat — and pulled up a further six places! Of course. I’m far too polite. I stand off, allowing all the rest a clear path around (he marks. Then. when the coast is COMPLETELY clear. I venture around myself. One thing, it is NOT the boat, it’s ME. I was too tired to sail the fourth race, and lent the Flag Ship to the local Soling hero. It came fourth! — the best non-spinnakered result! Basic, Bell Built, no extra fittings . . .  I no longer have any excuse at all  . . .

Bob FewtreIl did a very good job organising the event.

Night sleeper train to Penzance, Mounts Bay, a borrowed boat and my FIRST CAPSIZE — and I thoroughly recommend at least some of these ingredients for a superb weekend. Mounts Bay is a beautiful place to sail — lovely sailing water, the Mount, sand for the kids, plenty of camping, caravanning, everything to hand or in Penzance — Race organisation quite un-paralleled — a MUST for a future Nationals venue. Don’t let distance put you off. This was an event worth travelling double the distance to attend. Mary Darnell very kindly lent me ‘At Long Last’ and it was certainly no fault of hers that we did infact come last! But surfing in was glorious and I thoroughly recommend capsizing . . . for one very simple reason. It’s nothing like as bad as you anticipate. The idea of that cold water has inhibited me from sailing as hard as the boat can (or I could cope with) and each time I go afloat the morbid fear of tipping in really spoiled things on all but the calmest seas. But it was so simple — and easy. We had the plate too  far up — didn’t push it down to gybe, left it to late throwing the boom across — the kicking strap caught on the plate, and there we were — up to our necks. Thank you very much, the Mounts Bay Osprey Fleet, for your rescue services!

from Sally Karslake, M39000 - 'Flag Ship'

Editor's note - This article is from Reflections No. 11 Autumn 1973, page 4 and has been captured by OCR, so typos & errors are possible.

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