Written by Jonathan Stone
The weather dawned clear and sunny with a fresh, cold westerly breeze. It looked fair for a cold, end of season race, to end the season.
But, the BOM and websites like Seabreeze were predicting a southerly squall at start time. The PRO had promised a go/no-go decision - but on the day, close to race time. In the event, the weather predictions did not shift; reports from the south coast showed winds of up to 35knots on their way; radar showed that heavy showers were part of the front.
So - the race was cancelled by email, at 10.00am. The wind built from 10.00 am and the front arrived just after start time (1.00pm), with gusts >30 knots and heavy rain.
Instead we had a great barbecue - hot soup and baked trout, a range of salads, wines, roast potato. Earlycomers sat on the deck, in the afternoon sun, as Gerry baked the fish. But the sun didn’t last and tables were set inside the Clubhouse - eventually seating 25 of us in a long row.
The occasion was the PRO’s last race - the one that didn’t happen. There was a toast (to time on the water), speeches from skippers (Chris and Stephen and Jim) and a speech-in-reply from JS, who recalled how he and and Don (Roach) had worked to begin the ‘ big boat fleet’ a decade ago. And a presentation, of a great photograph of Time & Tide. And speeches of thanks for Paul and Shirley and Gerry and all who had helped set up the event. Then Paul produced two hot puddings, Christine produced home-made chocolate and Emily brought a cake with ’34’ on it (for the PRO’s 34 seasons of sailing).
We talked until late afternoon; then cleaned up the Clubhouse.
And then it was all over.
Across the (alphabetical) line: Skippers and crew were there from:
Time & Tide
Awanui (Kathy is a Club member, her Northshore 27 is a mooring-neighbour of T&T)
(I think that’s all the big boats -did I miss any?; there were several Laser sailors present but I know only the skippers’ names.)
The Club’s Commodore (Andrew) and Secretary (Clare) represented the Club - thank you for being there; along with Julian van Aalst, the last of the Laser sailors still sailing from JS’ early days in dinghies, in the 1980s. We reminisced about those days - when the Club was smaller, building its Laser fleet, and the stories were somehow funnier. Dene and Andrea - recently retired from the Club - sent their greetings from …. wherever.
It was a wonderful moment in the life of the Club. I am happy, and sad.
And really grateful - THANK YOU!