#6: The Scottish Wayfarer Trophy (Friday 31 July, 18ºC,
cloudy with a mini rain/hail squall): After a general recall, we
cleanly under a black flag at 1345 in our best winds yet - 15 knots of
SSW wind. Anders finally got around the windward mark first - only to
Mike Mac and Ian go by "like 505s" on the first reach, an exciting
of surfing and planing. Mike then held the lead over Ian until the run
where Ian took a lead which he guarded nicely to the finish despite
major windshifts due to a rain/hail squall at the end of the second
and the near calm that followed. The win confirmed Ian as Wayfarer
Champion for an unprecedented third time. By placing 3rd behind Mike,
clinched 2nd place in the Worlds - easily the best finish ever by a
crew in a Wayfarer Worlds!
The undoubted "come-back kids" of this Worlds were Martin Collen and Terry Palmer who had been sitting with a RET as their drop race since race 2 and had engineered major come-backs in races 3 and 5 with their backs squarely to the wall. In this one, they rounded 13th off the first beat and then slowly but surely worked their way up to 4th by the finish!
Also beginning to make his presence felt in a wind more worthy of his stature in life was Quentin Strauss who rounded 4th, dropped to 7th on beat 2, and then recovered for a fine 5th. It pleased me to hear that Mogens Just, the local expert, went right up the final beat, fully expecting a major veer as a small thunderstorm off to the left receded. The very thinking I had presented to Marc who had wanted to follow the fleet to the left. There was good news and bad news: first, the good news: the new, veered and much stronger wind came in all right; and now for the bad news: we have lots of buffalo manure - ooops, wrong joke! the bad news was that the new wind came in just after the fleet had finished. Mogens dropped from 10th to 21st on that last beat!
A happy note here for those who like to procrastinate: Dan Wealthy and Rob Broad decided to get an early start on the free beer by taking down and rolling their main on the run into the harbour. This is why we saw them later on as the new wind had them beating into the harbour under jib alone.
Also among those who didn’t like the last beat were John Wardrop and Martin Szekeres who placed 34th overall but sailed a great first beat to round 6th. They no doubt felt less cheered by beat #2 where they fell from 7th to 14th. Perhaps, like Uncle Al, they felt they had hit rock bottom and it couldn’t get worse. I was too far behind them to tell but I imagine they must have gone right since they fell 21 places to 37th on that wonderful last beat! And then there was Søren who rounded 8th off beat 1, fell to 15th, got back to 13th and then followed Mogens to 22nd across the line - a plunge that cost them a top 10 finish for the Worlds. And then there was Uncle Al who had already fallen from 22nd to 29th as he and Marc began the final beat. "I’m f…ed if I’m going to protect a 29th!" he muttered to Marc. "How much worse can it get?" he added rhetorically. 13 places worse, it turned out.
But it’s an ill wind that bla… bla… bla..: Nick’s crew spent much of that evening pointing to our finish on the results sheet. "See that", he said, "it says 4,2. And see that", he added pointing to Nick’s score, "it says 4,1!"
Of course, not everyone hated the last beat. Poul moved from 27th to 17th. And the UKWA rep to the WIC, Tony Cooper calmly preserved his best finish of the series, an excellent 7th! Joel, Geoff and George also preserved 27th, 48th and 50th respectively but I suspect none of them were all that happy with the last beat just the same!
1998 Worlds results
Race 1 report
Race 2 report
Race 3 report
Race 4 report
Race 5 report
Race 6 report
Race 7 report
A U.K. View of the 98 Worlds
Uncle Al's 98 Worlds Diary