15 September 2018 – Hamble Classics – Day 1

Start position
Royal Southern YC
Start time
09:19
Start engine hours
847.2
Towards
Royal Southern YC
ETA
Distance travelled
22
Finish position
Royal Southern YC
Finish time
14:32
Finish engine hours
849
Skipper
Richard
Crew
Louise, Miles, Emily
Weather
  • W-SW 1-3
  • Sunshine
Tide
  • HW Portsmouth 16:20 4.5m
  • LW Portsmouth 09:00 1.2m
New faults
Np->Sp %
We motored down from the Elephant Boatyard yesterday afternoon and moored in front of Peggy Bawn. Ivy Green has been scrubbed again and the stern gland repacked. Emily and Miles joined us for the welcome buffet supper. There are fewer classics in the Yacht Haven this year, but plenty of people about.
It’s a sunny morning as the fleet heads out of the river. There are 5 boats in our class; Jolie Brise, Thalia, Aeolus, Peggy Bawn and us. We’re the slowest rated of these. As in previous years it’s a long motor down to the start area, near the ‘East Bramble’ buoy. In the light winds we set up our standard rig, including No.1 jib and topsail. The cruising chute is also on deck, with its temporary halyard rigged. Then we wait for the other classes to get away, starting with the Spirits and then the various IRC and Regatta classes. Bang on time, at 11:15, it’s our turn. It’s a reaching start, as last year. We eventually let Aeolus squeeze inside the committee boat, before heading up and sailing over the top of them. Then it’s about getting away downwind and we slide across Aeolus’s bowsprit and behind Peggy Bawn. We bear away and chase Jolie Brise off downwind into clear air. We have a significant tide with us and are soon heading up again, to make sure we’re above the mark. We’re ahead of Peggy Bawn and in a clear 3rd place on the water. Now the wind shifts and it’s almost straight downwind to the first mark, ‘Mother Bank’.
From there what should have been a reach becomes a tight fetch across the tide to ‘Browndon’. As forecast, the wind drops away as we approach. We see the boats ahead of us slowing and standing further inshore as the tide pulls them away from the mark. We’re soon doing the same, with Peggy Bawn following us in. Eventually the wind starts to pick up again and we’re moving forward. We keep going in shore to allow for the tide. Eventually we tack after Jolie Brise and Thalia. We’re still going to be well short of ‘NE Ryde Middle’, but keep going. We’ve forgotten to cover Peggy Bawn, who make good progress to the mark well to windward of us, after going further up the shore line. They’re well ahead as we pass the mark. With the wind up and the tide dropping is a fetch up to the last mark and a couple of tacks for the finish line.
We need to be within about 1.25 minutes of Peggy Bawn to beat them. Rather than follow them out to the last corner, we tack early and race back for the line. We know we’re not going to lay it, but we’re not far off. We tack a couple of boat lengths outside the committee boat, then round up into the wind and poke the bowsprit across the line as we slow. It’s going to be very close! Then we bear away for a fast sail back to the Hamble, with hot pasties appreciated by the crew.
We join the rum party and wait eagerly for the day’s prize giving. We’ve been left out of the results! A quick check into the sailing office sorts the problem out and shows we won the race, just 7s ahead of Peggy Bawn. It’s great result! The first time we’ve been competitive with them and a good recovery right at the end.
There’s a quiet hour before the regatta dinner in the club, with an entertaining speech from Sean McMillen, of Spirit Yachts.
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