The Corinthian Cruising Fleet is not reknowned for strict adherence to the rules for starting proper, real races; after all, we are a Cruising Fleet. No, our approach is more relaxed and does not require the precision timing achieved by the one-designs, when the aim is to be in a position, approximately one second behind the start line as the gun goes, every sail perfectly set and going at full tilt. More likely, some of our fleet do arrive at the start line but pointing in the wrong direction with a foul tide doing its worst!
We have been known to start with a gun - there have been years when Bruce in the Box has kindly fired one at an agreed time but that doesn't necessarily mean that we will start at that point; it may just be a reminder that we have decided to sail together to a particular destination on a chosen day and that we might as well see who gets there first.
And there are other considerations; we don't like to leave anyone behind. We'll delay the start a little - Ella Rose has decided to hoist another sail...
"Anyone seen Spangle? "
"She's definitely coming - perhaps they'll join us as we pass the entrance to the marina."
"Right, who have we got then? " This is the SOD (Skipper of the Day) calling over the radio. "That looks about it. Start in two minutes everyone. Bang! "(spoken)
Away we go, creaming along towards lunch, quiz in hand. The best position to achieve in the quiz results is second - if you win, you have to set the quiz next year. Gymcrack often won when my nephew was on board, we couldn't shut him up!
This year the David Eagling Memorial Race took place on 20th September, in sunshine and obliging wind and it was won by Orla. Laurence was pleased to win, ably assisted by his son Alex and cabin boy Pete Willets (was it just a coincidence that the lifeboat turned up?).
The Spangle Cup was won by the crew of Quick Reflex, many thanks to Valerie Harrison for the quiz.
Alex collected the trophy at the prize-giving and we look forward to the Kings' Quiz next year.