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Lulu Belle goes to Cork


August 4, 2010 0 comments Uncategorized

Lulu Belle goes to Cork

The good crew of Lulu Belle Uncorked arrived in Crosshaven on Sunday the 11th of July; keen, happy, optimistic and most importantly enthusiastic, to represent MHYC, MYC and indeed Australia at Cork Week 2010.

Wilson, their mascot, (escaping a rumored indiscretion in Australia) was found in the pub talking to Sean a local. During their conversation, Sean was asked by the barman to leave the bar because he was on a curfew. (i.e not allowed to drink after a 8pm or the cops would throw him in the lock up) and Sean comes back with ‘ you look after the beers and I’ll look after the Gardai!’. The crew composed of Lulu Belle Crew from MHYC and Chris and Anne Stockdale from Manly Sailing started the week by consuming copious amounts of red wine and Guinness.

The crew arose on Day One to a sunny (foggy, wet, sunny foggy, wet) day, to find that their engine would not engage into forward on their Elan 340. Eventually a plan was formed and off we went to the Start line in reverse.

Two races later, two lost headsail halyards, one lost spinnaker halyard, a broken headsail drum, a torn spinnaker, three bowmen down and a very unhappy Wilson we returned (backwards).

Luckily six bottles of Chianti Reservi 2006 were discovered in the bilge. Wilson opened the first one – which was a challenge because he has no arms, but bless him he managed it and soon the traumas of the day were forgotten, as the crew retired to the bar. As the sun set (actually it never really set, this country is weird) the crew were seen discussing tactics for the following day, in Gaelic.(That would be the Chianti and Guinness!)

Day 2 arrived with plenty of weather, sunshine, rain, fog, mist, but alas no wind. Finally it filled in and we were off to the harbour race (backwards). Now the thing about motoring backwards when you have a 12.5 ft flood tide is that you actually look like you are going forwards, so we didn’t feel too foolish.

We had a great day, no broken halyards, and a beautifully repaired Kite thanks to Wilson. What a different day to the day before, yesterday it was pressure and no time to eat lunch, today was not only lunch close enough to lunch time, but Irish Coffees on the downwind leg.

Wilson who had taped the previous day to show us how sad we were could not believe the new attitude as the crew were singing, dancing and generally having a ball as they crossed the finish in 14th place overall.

Having had every possible breakage, mistake and misfortune already, the rest of the week was surely to be ours.

Sadly as Day 3 dawned two of our crew Kim and Janno Darling had to depart but relief crew in the form of Nicole Stockdale and Karl Kirsten were on hand and so with great aplomb they jumped on board and we returned to the scene of the crime (BACKWARDS) to compete on the Slalom Course. Wilson who doesn’t get seasick, because he has no stomach, offered Karl a seasick pill, but Karl was too busy eating his sausage sandwich and bacon and eggs as we wandered out into a tremendous storm. 40 kts (under the squalls, give or take) over the nose, horizontal rain and Karl decided to represent his breakfast for inspection.

Wind, some snow, a bit of sleet, rain, 24ft waves (give or take) and then the weather left us. Sun, no breeze and a mark that went further away the closer we got to it. The skipper bellowed, ‘hoist them up the yard arm’ but no one knew what he was talking about so instead the crew chucked the spinnaker pole over the side, let the main sheet go, lost a spinnaker sheet and recovered the situation to manage a fine finish, still beating boats home and as always looking good.

The Irish pulled out of the second race in droves, not to be seen again. Wilson on the other hand bellowed to the skipper, lets go again. Karl bellowed to the ocean, ‘ have my lunch again!’. And off we went on race 2. Best result of the week yet, despite the rain, mist and fog, no-one hurt (according to fantasy land but see pictures of bowman and mastman…). Much celebration followed and Wilson was last seen talking outside the Fastnet bar to a gorgeous little roundheaded Sliother of a girl.

On the way home, the crew discussed tactics for the rest of the week which included the Seafood Cook off on Friday night between NSW and SA, while the Bowgirl and Mastman went to the shops and restocked on Arnica, Bandages and Nurofen.

Day 4 and after a night of free rum and cokes at the bar, which left Wilson chatting up Robyn, daughter of the pub owner, everyone was a little worse for wear.Next morning, Wilson was nowhere to be found. With Gale Force winds (no give or take it was howling) and still no Wilson, the Royal Cork Yacht Club postponed the race to 3pm so the crew went back to bed.

A few hours later and Wilson still couldn’t be found, a search of the pub for Robyn found she was missing too. After many flags up and down, guns going off, mayhem and confusion, RCYC decided we should brave the elements.

So with great despair the crew headed out for the start of the race, in 30 knots and driving rain, but no Wilson.

We were brilliant on the work to the top mark but then we had to set the kite and the headsail wouldn’t come down. Anne singlehandidly climbed the mast, pulled the headsail down and set the kite prior to the Gybe at the bottom mark.However Chris was not happy that he didn’t have his Irish Coffee and asked Anne whether she had time to make him one. There was a certain gesture in response that we took to mean that she would only make One Irish Coffee and no more.

Up to the top mark again, finding all the shifts, the team was awesome, simply awesome. With every rag we had flying; headsails, spinnakers, main, you name it, we had it up. We screamed down the second leg in possibly 50 knots of breeze (give or take) and driving rain to the bottom mark.

And suddenly……………… the wind dropped to less than five kts and we drifted to the finish. Cheers were heard, as we crossed the line, from all over Crosshaven, Cobh and indeed Cork City.

The skipper promptly told the crew to go below, turn on the heater and make Irish Coffees, while he singlehandedly brought the boat into the marina (backwards) in driving rain.

As we were coming in Wilson was spotted surrounded by the Ladies of Cork who had attended Ladies Day at Cork Week in all their finery and of course on his arm (well his shoulder) was Robyn the bar maid, Wilson had invited all of his entourage to dinner, so Dave jumped ship – straight to the Crosshaven supermarket and immediately began cooking his famous Spaghetti Bolognese and Fettucini Carbonara.

The Happy Couple – Cork Week 2010 –  Dave Kendall

 

‘Summer in Cork Harbour – Cork Week 2010’    Chris Stockdale    Click Here to view large photo

Day 5 and if we sailed well today we knew we could take the competition (give or take a place or two) .We awoke to rain, sun, hail, sleet, just a normal Irish summer really. Wilson had returned from partying and gave the crew a pep talk.

So off we went to find with our instructions for the day. Delighted that there were no postponements in place despite the gale force predictions and they were no deterrent to the intrepid crew (no joking, a low of 984ph and we still went sailing!)

We headed out through the 4 meter swell (give or take), through the blinding rain to the start – windwards/leewards on the slalom course (only the Irish). The committee boat saw the wind coming from 290 degrees then 240 degrees then 290 degrees,which left them in somewhat of a quandry as to where to set the course.

Wilson gave them some advice, not sure what was said but finally the marks were laid and off we went. First over the line at the start and screaming along in our little Elan 340 at possibly 20kts (give or take) we rounded the top mark and set the kite.

The crew decided that as they were putting in their best day of racing they had time to get supplies for the mighty seafood cook off. So on the second leg we trawled the kite. Unfortunately oysters were in short supply, but we got whiting, prawns, scallops and hot chips and even got the kite back on board eventually!

Wilson was impressed and had a smile on his face all the way back to the marina. Returning to Crosshaven the press came down in their droves requesting the opportunity to take pictures of the great Australian Lulu Belle Uncorked team who had been seen as the most spectacular, sensational and certainly unusual team to ever compete at Cork Week.

After copious interviews the team retired to the crew house to cook up the seafood they had caught earlier.

Everyone was happy, the boat was intact (save some minor problems like the keel, rudder,mast and motor) but at least the head was still working ( that however, was no good for Wilson …guess why).

Everyone from Crosshaven came out to kiss us goodbye which left us all feeling sad and gloomy as we left the misty ,rainy, sunny shores for the last time.

On a more serious note, thanks to our fabulous crew – Peter Lewis, Peter Matthews, Dave Kendall, Nicole Stockdale ( Not Nicky), Karl Kirsten (both with K’s), Kim Darling, Janno Darling, Chris Stockdale, Anne Stockdale and most importantly Wilson Wilson.

And thanks to Cork Week and the gorgeous Irish people we met for such a great time……we’ll be back!

Bye bye Cork and Thanks! – Cork Week 2010  

 

by Anne Stockdale Share   9:46 AM Fri

Day 4 and after a night of free rum and cokes at the bar, which left Wilson chatting up Robyn, daughter of the pub owner, everyone was a little worse for wear.

Next morning, Wilson was nowhere to be found. With Gale Force winds (no give or take it was howling) and still no Wilson, the Royal Cork Yacht Club postponed the race to 3pm so the crew went back to bed.

A few hours later and Wilson still couldn’t be found, a search of the pub for Robyn found she was missing too. After many flags up and down, guns going off, mayhem and confusion, RCYC decided we should brave the elements.

So with great despair the crew headed out for the start of the race, in 30 knots, with no Wilson in driving rain.

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