Launch Day at Last

“Artemis” has been stuck in the weeds behind the clubhouse for a couple of years now, high and dry.  Bonz Benson and myself took over ownership last August and as Gary had previously painted and antifouled her we thought what could be easier than to launch immediately for a late season sail.  Such optimism was duly dashed by a series of events conspiring against us. 

Firstly the mooring was unsuitable so with the help of Andy Morley we took over a new mooring from Hughie Higgins.  This took till mid-September.  Then either the weather conspired against us or the tides were wrong or someone was unavailable.  The furthest we got was Mark towing us out of the corner 10 yards then putting us back.  The doubters among you said it was as far we were ever going.

So this Spring arrived and with renewed enthusiasm we set about tidying up the boat in preparation for a new launch attempt.  Sunday 24 April was just possible – Neap tides but we could float off the trailer at the end of the causeway.  Glyn Jones in “Trio” was scheduled to slip down the same day.  He was towed down first but unfortunately  literally slipped down, sliding off the trailer when the pin hitch failed.  Causeway blocked.  What to do.  No chance to get “Artemis” in.  The doubters were right.

 Still with all hands available, a load of blocks and some grunting and heaving  “Trio” was put back on the trailer, the hitch lashed up and towed to the launch pad on the causeway end already covered in water.  Batman Mark was successful.  Too late now for “Artemis”?  No- here comes Boy Wonder Robin –alias Bert – with the second tractor just in time to make the launch pad with water round the wheels!

 We made it!  The boat floats, the engine works and even sails!  A toast of Champagne on board while dodging through Race Officers Goudie carefully prepared start line and signals ended the day.

See you on the water all you slow starters!

Chris Weston

Sailing Calendar 2024