16th September 2017 – Hamble Classics

  • Start position – Royal Southern YC
  • Start time – 09:20
  • Start engine hrs – 737.4
  • Towards –
  • ETA –
  • Finish position –  Royal Southern YC
  • Finish time – 13:25
  • Finish engine hrs – 738.9
  • Distance travelled – 15nm
  • Skipper – Richard
  • Crew – Louise, Charlie, Mary
  • Weather – N1-3 partly cloudy
  • Tide – HW Portsmouth 09:00, 21:20
    • LW Portsmouth 14:20, 1.7m
    • np->sp 14%
  • New faults –

Mary and Charlie joined us at the boatyard yesterday, before we motored down to the Royal Southern and into our old berth at the yacht haven. We were welcomed by tea and cake, followed by a drinks reception, then fish pie on board.

The forecast is for light Northerly winds, dying away early this afternoon. The light conditions means the topsail and yankee jib are out. We’re also rigged for the cruising chute.As last year, it’s a long motor out to the start. Mary takes on navigator duties, while Charlie and Louise work on trim communication, with Charlie on the foredeck. We wait for the other fleets to get away. The wind is holding, but a short course is set, with a reaching start.

We’re on the line above ‘Sophie’, who come up at us. There’s just space for us to squeeze through and lead the fleet off the line. We’re first to the first mark (4E), as the reach gets tighter all the way. Then we’re round and tight on the wind up towards the second (4V). ‘Jolie Brise’ passes beneath us and we see the smaller gaffers (‘Gloriana’, ’Sepia’, ‘Winifred’) converging on the same mark. We get a big lift as we approach and are able to tack around the mark. From there it’s a slow and fluky upwind leg to the finish at Bald Head. Others seem to be pointing higher and stay up to minimise the tide, so we’re losing out. We tack back, behind ‘Nomad’ now. One more tack and the failing wind is lifting us towards the finish line. Now it’s ‘Jolie Brise’, ‘Sophie’ and us chasing line honours. We’re the leeward boat and working every inch of lift to make the line. The others will clearly make it and tacking will put us too far behind. ‘Jolie Brise’ gets there first, with ‘Sophie’ just 32s ahead of us. That’s close enough to put us ahead on correct time, but ‘Cormorant’ takes the race win. The last leg was a struggle, but we’re pleased with the result, which was the best we could reasonably expect, given the conditions.

Then it’s all back to the Royal Southern for lunch and the Elephant Boatyard rum party. Rain gives us an excuse to retire to the boat, before everybody brushes up for the regatta dinner.

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