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Colmere 2000
Arguably, for someone in the South, Colmere is about as far as you would want to go for a weekend sailing venue. Having said that, it is a very attractive place, and our hosts hospitality second to none. With both Signo Vinces, and The Saint, still undergoing overhauls it fell to Over Easy, to make the journey North on the 13th May.
I helmed, while Lyn, Madeline, Keith and Roy kept a weather eye out for speed cameras. Eventually, having negotiated the resurfacing work on M40 and slipped through the infamous M6 Junctions 8/9 north of Birmingham, we arrived in deepest Shropshire. Where upon Keith, Roy, the dinghy and myself were promptly dumped and the car high-jacked by Lyn and Madeline who set off for the flesh-pots of Warrington.
No don’t ask, we never do. They usually come back sometime Sunday afternoon with silly grins on their faces. Last year they also brought back half a local gardening centre for good measure. You may laugh but a least a few plants don't weigh much. Ask Keith how he felt about transporting a stone bird bath (or was it a sun dial) back from somewhere in Saint, no wonder the poor old girl needs repairing. This year, somehow, they managed to behave themselves and we didn't have to travel back with a car (or boat) full of Triffids.
So, I suppose I’d better say one or two things about the sailing. Understandably I guess everybody was a bit down on Saturday (Robin Little’s sad absence was uppermost in most people’s minds). SigneT-wise three races were scheduled on Saturday for the Himley Bell and another three on Sunday for the Monks Platter (or vice versa). Truth to tell nobody seems to know which is which and I suppose there are more important things in life to worry about.
In between the Saturday races the Colmere SC ladies tried their best to nobble us with lunch, cakes and goodies, not to mention the Saturday evening barbecue. Dam, I didn't mean to mention that. It's hell, but someone's got to eat it all.

Saturday Race 1 - Typical Colmere Cats Cradle course (i.e. follow the man with the map). Very light variable breeze from the NE and pretty warm throughout. Result: Tricky Dicky and Martin led the SigneTs home.
Saturday Race 2 - Same conditions, slight variation on the course. Result: Over Easy ended up first SigneT home.
Saturday Race 3 - Still pretty warm but because of the failing wind this one was sailed over a reduced number of marks. Result: ST368 by a mile (that's another way of saying Richard & Martin won again).
Saturday night passed in traditional Colmere style. The pit was lit in good time, and by the time I struggled out of the shower it sported a most diverse range of barbecue-able goodies. For the first time in living memory we didn't run out falling down water, we must be getting old, or just took too much. All in all a pretty average evening (that's good ! for those of you that don't know me very well). Oh yes, If I ever get my hands on the Owl that sat in the trees behind the tents and hooted all night I'm going to have it doctored ! Don't you just love nature in the raw?
On Sunday woke to thick mist (fog in Londonese) which gradually dispersed as the sun burnt it off, very picturesque down on the Mere. Having decided to chase the fleet around with a camera, I turned ST369 over to Keith and Roy for the day and pinched Graham’s digital thingy which he assured me an idiot could operate ??? Subsequently high-jacked the rescue boat and set forth to harass (photograph) passing dinghies. Got a very good picture of my foot! The conditions on the lake had gone from thick mist to crystal clear with a bit of a breeze. On the downside the amount of algae in the water made it look like thick green pea soup. An incentive not to capsize.

Sunday Race 1 - Whilst preparing the dinghy and still tied up to the jetty Richard capsized! What should you never do? That's right Jonathan, never step onto the foredeck! What did Richard do? Mind you, he was more perturbed that when he called for help everybody within earshot turned up with a camera rather than to help him. One latecomer even asked him to get back in and pose for a picture. This episode had no effect on the lad whatsoever. Result: ST368 swept to her 3rd first place of the weekend.
Sunday Race 2 - Gentle breeze still blowing and just as warm. Result: ST368 Richard & Martin Cannon (again).

Sunday Race 3 - Breeze now dropping. Result: ST904 Joyce & Frank Cowern, followed in second place by Steve & Jonathan Leeding in ST53 A well deserved result for which Steve & Jon got a standing ovation as they crossed the line!
Dick & Martin won all the silverware and ST368 is still the boat to beat, well done Richard. Many thanks to John & Renee Webster and the RO and his team at CSC for organising a thoroughly enjoyable weekend.
Mike (Over Easy) Baker

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