13 May 2018 – Cowes Spring Classics

Start position
Cowes
Start time
09:25
Start engine hours
756.9
Towards
ETA
Distance travelled
21
Finish position
The Elephant Boatyard
Finish time
18:02
Finish engine hours
758.6
Skipper
Richard
Crew
Louise, Tim, Lyn
Weather
  • W 1-4
  • Sun
Tide
  • Solent turns WEST to EAST : 15:30
  • Bursledon – HW 11:00 (4.3m), LW 16:10 (1.2m)
  • Portsmouth – HW 10:50 (4.3m), LW 16:10 (1.1m)
  • Cowes – HW 10:50 (3.9m), LW 16:00 (1.0m)
New faults
None
Np->Sp %
43
It’s another calm morning, causing a little concern, but a light Westerly fills in and the sun is out. The ebb tide is running, so short courses up to East Cowes are the order of the day. Topsail and yankee jib are up. We decide that the asymmetric for a downwind start is likely to be more trouble than it’s worth. We hug the breakwater to avoid the tide, with ‘Spinaway X’ and ‘Step Back in Time’. ‘Mirelle’ is just outside us. Then it’s out into the tide and slowly round “Royal London”. Now it’s a quick tack out into the tide and ‘Ivy Green’ wakes up. One tack back in round the mark and we’re crawling upside again. Now wind and tide are balancing out and the fleet compresses as it stops just before “Royal London” again. We’ve got big Bermudan yachts on one side and little ‘Winifred’ under our bowsprit. We decide to go the long way round, drop back and head inshore, dicing with the Shrape mud. We’re got speed, but are not closing on the mark. Finally we gybe out again and slide round the mark in front of the stationary fleet, as the breeze just gets everyone moving again. Another quick mini-loop and down to the finish. We’ve come out well on the water, but it’s not going to look so good on handicap.
There’s just half an hour for a break and we’re off for a second race. Again it’s upwind/downwind, but we’re down to 0.3nm each way. Round we go three times, with ‘Peggy Bawn’ and ‘Sabrina’ just ahead of us each time. It’s all over in 40 minutes, so we head back into Cowes for the prize giving. We’ve come fourth overall, which is respectable given the conditions. The top 3 are all much smaller boats. Tim and Lyn get the Redjet home and Louise and I enjoy a fast reach back across the Solent under yankee and mainsail, over 8kts with a little tide. Once again we’re tracing ‘Satellite’ who we overhaul just in time to get some photos. Then it’s up to the boatyard and home.
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