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Rockley Owner Peter Gordon returns with his ladies sailing sessions

Manspreading – it seems to be a thing in sailing! Well, welcome back to “Peter's Thursday Morning Ladies Group” – please feel free to make your own cheap jokes at my expense, or alternatively come up with a better title.

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So hello P, Claire, Sarah, Caroline and Karina

It had been a while, we’ve sadly lost a few ladies to a change in circumstances, and I’m not talking the D word here!  But we have also gained a few Ladies so, like a school teacher who has spent years remembering their student’s names, I must now start again.  It is made particularly hard in sailing as you normally only see the back of their heads when you are on the water and at this time of the season we are all wrapped up against the weather.

 

P’s first lesson from me was that when tallying on at the beginning of a session, P is not a name, it is a letter.  That is not helpful to me!  Although it seems that she followed the lead of E Fleming who signed on first, who frankly should know better considering she is the unelected leader (but leader nonetheless) and we have had words about a letter not equating to a name. Not even Prince got that far in his name changing.

So Phillipa is what I am hoping to see next week on the tally sheet.  Oh and a Liz too…

No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy

Today appeared to be windy but the readings out in the middle of the harbour were showing just 8 knots so no need to reef. Just as we were launching there was a bit of a, well, storm.  We waited for a few minutes, then off we went for the first sail for about 6 months. The sailors were thoroughly briefed that we were going to do a shallow triangle so that we could practice sailing close to the wind, then bearing away, then a sneaky gybe then a lovely beam reach leading to the last mark where we could practice “hardening up” (Yes, I am beginning to realise how many double entendres there are in sailing) leading to a tack and then repeat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well there is a famous saying in military circles (my thanks to Gary W for this) that ”No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy”.  This also went for todays plan on the water.  Maybe we would leave the gybing for another Thursday?

So a simple beam reach to beam reach would suffice with a tack at each end, and, no you don’t actually have to go around the marks that I have laid for you, just go close.  A bit closer than that….

As they all warmed up (figuratively, not actually) I suggested that Ruth might like to try a gybe. The response of “Please don’t make me” did make me feel like the Headmaster character from Pink Floyds - The Wall.  Of course you don’t have to, there’s always next week.

And what I mean by manspreading is....

Now, what about this Manspreading.  Well, when sailing it is often good to get your weight forward (Trim, one of the 5 essentials of sailing, I’m sure that I have mentioned them before) and she (please note that no name no pack drill here!) decided that the best way was to have one leg under the forward toestrap and the other under the back toestrap which is, pause for thought here, not…, still pausing, glamorous/ladylike. So ladies, knees together please. If you want to get your weight forward, most of your weight is not in your ankles so there is little point getting your ankle forward in an attempt to get your weight forward. Feet together, knees together and move your body forward at an angle.

Was it really that windy?

Well, we got back to shore, 7 relieved lady sailors and one disappointed lady sailor.  Yvonne, hard as nails as ever.

“Peter, how windy was that gust that came through as we were launching?”

Well, I check the app that gives the wind readings. “Well it says 16 knots (a Force 4 – a moderate breeze according to the Beaufort Scale) but that doesn’t seem right”

Quickly checks settings on app.

“Ah, my bad, I had it on the wrong units.”

So we rigged in 8 metres per second, not 8 knots.

The gust was 16 metres per second not 16 knots.

That means that we rigged in a Force 5 (17 knots) and the gust was a Force 7 (33 knots).

Memo to self.

If it looks windy, it is windy, don’t believe the app!

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