17th September 2017 – Hamble Classics

  • Start position – Royal Southern YC
  • Start time – 09:15
  • Start engine hrs – 738.9
  • Towards –
  • ETA –
  • Finish position – The Elephant Boatyard
  • Finish time – 16:30
  • Finish engine hrs – 740.8
  • Distance travelled – 23nm
  • Skipper – Richard
  • Crew – Louise, Charlie, Mary
  • Weather – N2-3, partly cloudy
  • Tide – HW Portsmouth 10:10
    • LW portsmouth 15:20, 1.4m
    • np->sp 28%
  • New faults –

The morning dawns cold and calm. By the time we leave the dock, there’s a cold Northerly blowing and everybody’s well wrapped up. There’s definitely more wind than yesterday and maybe a little more than expected. After some deliberation we switch to the No.1 jib before the start. We’ve got  a longer course today, which is encouraging. ‘Sophie’ gets away cleanly ahead of us this time and we follow over in 2nd place. We’re up to windward and overhauling them, but we’ve got ‘Jolie Brise’, followed by ‘Thalia’ charging up behind us. We’re too slow to react and are spat out the back. ‘Sophie’ is quicker and manages to hold ‘Thalia’ off. We’ve lost out badly.

Now we’re all heading straight across Bramble Bank to the mark, on the ebb tide! Even ‘Jolie Brise’ has enough depth. ’Thalia’ slows as we approach the mark. We just fail to get the overlap and dip her transom. She’s slow to tack and we get round inside her, inching clear of the mark as the tide now pulls us back. From there, ‘Jolie Brise’ sails away low, while ‘Sophie’ climbs above us. By the time ‘Jolie Brise’ tacks for the mark she’s behind us, but when we tack we’re shown just how far ahead ‘Sophie’ has worked. Now we struggle for boat speed. Both ‘Sophie’ and ‘Jolie Brise’ are well away by the mark. ‘Thalia’ comes in to the mark right behind us and a little luffing is needed to stop them taking our wind again. Why didn’t we do that the first time?

We lead them round the next mark, bear away and head for East Bramble. There its a gybe and then back West on a close reach. Then the final beat is another slow affair against the tide. It’s not helped by fleets of XODs and Darings doing the same thing, but pointing higher than us. We stay out of trouble, but we’re going slowly. ‘Cormorant’ who were over 5 minutes behind us at the final mark get to the finish line just before us. ‘Sophie’ has definitely beaten us this time, so we’ll just have to wait and see how the results work out.

The wind continues to drop and we motor back into the Royal Southern. There’s just time for a little lunch before the prize giving. The overall results match today’s race results. ‘Cormorant’ first with 2 wins, ‘Sophie’ second and us third. Then we join the dash up river to the boatyard, where it is as warm and calm as always.

In retrospect it’s clear that we needed the yankee jib and didn’t defend ourselves properly on the first reach. At times we seemed to struggle to point, possibly misled by ‘Jolie Brise’ sailing low all the time. Although the logged data doesn’t show a major problem. Overall we’ve had a good weekend and some close racing.

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