Saturday 12th November saw 26 of our hardiest Otters take part in the traditional end of season Brass Monkey Race and the weather certainly proved apt for the occasion. With the rain pouring down by the bucketful and a cold wind blowing (although thankfully not as much as had been forecast) conditions were truly miserable.
Despite the awful conditions racing got underway without too much ado and the whole format of Brass Monkey combined with the RCYC Snow Globe seemed to work pretty well. The Slow Handicap and Oppie fleets set off first for their race and those lucky enough to have found their way into the warm dry club house were treated to a fantastic spectacle of close racing as Izzie Corbett and Martha Waples battled it out for first place against last year’s Topper winner Lizzie Rands. All three girls were clearly on fire storming round the course and when the Feva finished first by only a couple of minutes with Lizzie’s boat having a higher PY handicap rating no one was quite sure who was the winner until after the corrected times had been established when it was announced at Prize Giving that Martha and Izzie had indeed won the Handicap Cup by 4 seconds!
Close indeed but not the only story of the day as while the battle for the mixed fleet handicap trophy had been taking place Flo Brellisford, in her much slower and even higher PY rated Optimist, had been storming round the course herself and had in fact topped the leader board overall on corrected time! Go girl! However, with the long-standing tradition of Brass Monkey trophies being awarded by fleet, Martha and Izzie could rest easy being awarded the 1st Place Handicap Fleet Cup whilst winner Flo claimed the 1st Place Optimist Trophy to proudly display. 4 second outsider Lizzie meanwhile seemed more than happy with the Topper end of season trophies that she was later seen carrying off into the night….
Whist the Optimist and Handicap Cups were being decided a rather depleted fleet of 3 Lasers set off to race with the rest of the Snow Globe dinghies, which, for the Otters participating would decide their Brass Monkey cup. No doubt the weather had played a part in the lack of competing Lasers and perhaps Tom Rands wished he’d never set off returning back after the very long race frozen solid and his knees rather worse for wear (at least that was his excuse for the poor standard of dancing later in the evening) whilst Ben H-P, in his first Brass Monkey Race with the fleet, picked up the 1st place Laser Trophy.
By far the greatest achievement of the day though came from Albert Waples – our oldest Otter who some will know has not been able to sail for the last two years due to illness. Albert, determined this one was not going to beat him, summoned all his strength to get out on the water for what was his final Brass Monkey Race as an Otter. Sailing the full gruelling Snow Globe course in his Laser and making it back to the pontoon whilst still managing a smile, Albert demonstrated to us all the epitome of the Otter Spirit. Well done Albert, you did yourself and the Otters proud!