SLUG’s Inaugural Meeting!

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On Wednesday 8th September five elite sailors (four genuine seniors and one honorary) from the Club’s Laser Fleet braced themselves for the first outing of SLUG (members are known affectionately as SLUGs).   Our peerless Chief SLUG, Rob, had made sure this was one of the hottest days of the year with an excellent planing wind.   

The team was on the water by 3.00 pm except for Richard.  Being the highly organised professional he is, he had rightly prioritised bringing his designer sunglasses but, in the process, forgotten his sail.   Fortunately the Club was able to lend him one (which was actually much better than his own).  There were murmurings that he should have been lent a 4.7 or an Optimist sail as a penalty for bringing the SLUG name into disrepute.

Once afloat, the dynamic squad gathered over by the pump house on the far dam and Chief SLUG organised a one lap triangular course which covered a good part of the lake.  Once the team was marshalled on the start line, the three minute countdown ended and they were off.   Chief SLUG (who had set the course) generously gave everyone else an advantage by heading in the opposite direction to the first mark and never quite managed to catch up.  The exhilarating beat was followed by an exciting reach and then a fast run back to the start.

After a short wait to regroup, the next race began.  Chief SLUG shouted the start of the countdown, ‘Three minutes …..’ and then promptly capsized.   Being the dedicated leader he is, he did an Olympic style recovery, grabbed a swift look at his watch and, still spluttering, managed to yell, ‘Thirty seconds ..’

The second race was much closer than the first.   There was a tight squeeze around the wind-ward mark and a screaming reach followed by another super-fast run back to the start.  

Tony, not satisfied with his performance, decided to do some on-the-water modifications to his boat by taking the rudder and tiller off.  The rest of us were in awe of this fine example of SLUG determination but weren’t convinced this was a completely wise move.  Five minutes and a capsize later, nor was Tony.

All in all we had three back-to-back races and were on the water for over an hour.  Brian had to leave us early to go back to something called ‘wurk’, or ‘werk’?  As this was the first meeting of the SLUGs we decided to treat it as a rehearsal for following Wednesdays.  Once ashore and packed up we all agreed we had enjoyed an excellent time on the water with just the right mix of competitive racing, entertaining mishaps and great fun.

Huge thanks to Chief SLUG who did us proud, especially when he produced some chilled beers (non-alcoholic of course for such finely honed athletes) and great slabs of cake.   Thanks as well to Tony, Richard and Brian for being such brilliant sports.  

If any other Laser sailors can join us on future Wednesdays (on the water by 3.00 pm) you will be very welcome.  Young SLUGs or YLUGs (doesn’t have quite the same ring) will be very welcome too if you can remain unintimidated by the stiff competition.  Let Rob Browett know so he can keep you posted.