Being a Javelin wife and crew is hard work and calls for dedication, but I would recommend it to any would be lady crew. Looking back, we have had some real good times with the Javelin crowd at Open meetings.
My first real memory was a week at Bala in Wales, l983, where we camped for a week in the pouring rain, went to bed fully clothed with hot water bottles, ate double basket meals all week and had Welsh Nationalists creating havoc on our campsite on the Saturday night.
However this didn't put us off and 14 boats plus families from Buckenham went to Bala again in 1984. This time however seven of us shared a very comfortable house. Here I remember the amount of sailing gear for seven people drying each evening, and remember too when Jill Hazell, an inexperienced helm and myself took Andrew's brand new Javelin out for the last race and a squall blew up. Luckily we finished the race without even capsizing.
Hickling was quite exciting too with strong winds and a new set of No.1 sails. Here I remember a spectacular capsize with the spinnaker and being catapulted into the new mainsail . We . stayed overnight at Janet Gilmour's holiday bungalow on the beach. Hunstanton was also memorable, after good racing sixty of us stayed overnight at Doc. and Phyllida Smith's (God bless her). We slept on the floor in one of the consulting rooms and during the night John's airbed went completely flat. Matt slept on one of the consulting couches and I slept next to the fridge, which kept switching on and off all night (what a laugh). Well I remember after washing up endless crocks finding almost everyone gone to bed and hubby snoring his head off in bed.
The Europeans at Stone were outstanding, both sailing, social and just· being part of it all, wherever you finished, and I recommend it to anyone who has not been to a big meeting before. Here we stayed in a large caravan in Don Ledwith's back garden and were very comfortable .
Blakeney was quite something with its force 6 winds (force 4 everyone told me), four capsizes in one lap and having to get out and push the boat round to tack, due to the shallow water. Terry Simmonds kindly took us home to Sheringham to sleep, although his wife didn't expect us and told us to make ourselves at home as they were going to a wedding reception.
Meetings nearer home mean Javelin visitors for us, which we like. One weekend we had team racing at Buckenham and Harold Perry, Mavis and crew came to stay with two unexpected lads, so John and I slept up in the loft with the bats and the water tank running. We also had twenty six or so Javeliner’s come back to our house for a shower/wash and brush up before descending on the pub.
Kessingland was a good weekend with the sea kind to us and winds moderate, Here I remember the terrific storm that evening, the country dancing, Bill Hancock's sore behind and sleeping in the clubhouse. It took us all some time to settle down as you can well imagine, only to hear a tap dripping behind the shuttered bar. Neil Reid decided to prise off the bar shutter and turn off the tap, which he did, as well as giving us his rendition of a barman. A quiet night was had by all despite the occasional noise?
Exciting too, was the Bloody Mary at Staines although not an open meeting. We sailed against 352 other class boats (only four Javelins?) in the bitter cold of January 5th. The water freezing on the boat and all the sheets were so stiff with frost it was a job to ease them. When we got back we were told that only twenty six boats had sailed the right course and the rest had missed out a mark. It was nice too to see some of our Javelin chums who come to watch.
Well no more sailing until April, so roll on Spring and Summer, roll on the open meetings, especially the Europeans in Holland, roll on seeing you lot again perhaps some new faces, who knows.
One of the most used phrases from a Javelin helm to a wife/crew must surely be... “Just run to the car and get me……"