The day began very well at 9am with the RCOD class laying on bacon rolls and coffee for the visiting RB sailors prior to the sailing.
The wind was forecast to increase by lunchtime, so we all went out promptly to the race track up between Cliff and Canewdon. The RB sailors in the RCODs didn’t copy the RC sailors, who just before the 5 min gun put in a reef to allow for easier boat handling in the building breeze (maybe the intricacies of reefing an RCOD was actually the honest reason for not reefing!) - instead they held onto their full sail, resulting in very different sailing styles up wind. However they were then able to exploit the downwind advantage of the full rig, and despite the close racing, the RB sailed RCODs took a virtually clean sweep.
For the RBOD races, the first of three flights was won by a foot by the RC team, but then dominance by the RB sailors took hold. Coming round the final mark in last place in both flights forced our respective helms to choose opposing banks on the run down from Canewdon. Inevitably the plot failed and the last two flights were deservedly won by the RB team.
The Caudle Cup as ever, is a brilliant format and fun racing. Only two experienced keelboat teams would consider racing borrowed boats in the blustery conditions that prevailed.
Although the final result was disappointing for the RCOD Team, all sailors on both sides came off their boats with a smile after a great morning's racing. The day finished with the prize giving, where our Class Captain Barry, having given a wonderful pre-amble intro to the history of the Caudle Cup, needed prompting to remember that he had to announce the winning team, and then award the Caudle Cup to Stephen Herring from the RBODs.
Both teams and supporters then sat down to a delicious banquet style lunch in the East End of the lounge, which proved a great place to watch the wind build up to a full gale through the afternoon.
As always, thanks to Team Phoebe, and to the mark layers for the day, Mark Eagling and Jason Phelps
Ant Law and Justin Waples