Showing posts from September, 2014

Becalmed off Littlehampton

27 Sept 2014 A cruiser pursuit race today and 5 boats turned up. I was pleased to have a couple of my younger friends, Turner and Georgia, with me. Expecting very light winds and with three of us aboard I'd set Elsa into her dayboat configuration - taking out all the woodwork around the cabin entrance and lifting the lower seats up to cockpit height.. We set off in plenty of time for our 1230 start. As a pursuit race we all had different start times though we were the same time as another boat, Johanna. The wind was very light and from the East and there was a knot or so of West-going tide so it was tricky on the approach to the start line, Johanna and ourselves both trying to get across without touching each other or the start mark. We ended up having to tack around behind her then we both set off towards the shore hoping to find less tidal current and make better progress toward the first mark to the East. We were pleased with our progress and got a good sail shape and b

Barts Bash

21 Sept 2014 Barts Bash  today was a national event with clubs all over the UK, and the world, taking part. Some were doing their normal Sunday races but Arun Yacht Club had joined with neighboring clubs AYAC and ODC to put a big fleet together. We'd pre-arranged separate start times 5 mins apart - the catamarans to be away first, then the dinghies, then the cruisers. All to sail the same course. My 17 year old friend Georgia was with me today and we set out just after 1015. The forecast was for NE winds about force 3. I shook out the reef I'd left in from last time and hoisted full mainsail as Georgia drove the boat into the wind up the river. Just got the sail up and set in time as we reached the bridge and climbed back to the tiller and turned round to put to sea. We were just about on high tide so there wasn't much river current to worry about but as we exited past the east wall the wind hit us. Nearly went sideways, Elsa rounded up, the engine roared as the boat he

No race today so we just went sailing

14 Sept 2014 James (my brother) was over from South Africa today and we turned up at AYC for lunch nd the expected cruiser race. I suspected beforehand that not many other crews would be around and it turned out we were the only ones! After lunch and with HW at 1550 we got ready and set out about 1530. The mainsail still had one reef rigged from last time so we left it like that. Bit of a brisk wind, F3 to F4, and from the East. We got the main up in the river then drove out through a fair bit of chop at the harbour entrance. Stopping engine and unrolling the genoa we headed south on port tack. Bit of swell but very few white horses so it can't have been much above F3 though it did feel a bit more than that. The tide was sweeping us west quite quickly so we tacked around, the wind was more SE so we were able to sail more or less parallel with the coast for a while in an easterly direction. We saw one or two other yachts out, exchanged polite conversation with a fisherman, and

Solo sail today

7 Sept 2014 A calm morning today with high tide around 1030, I haven’t been out for a few weeks now as we’ve been unlucky with the weather the last couple of race weekends. I knew there was a big ship due to come in on the high tide so I was up early and at the boat before 0900. Other people had the same idea and were getting ready to go out including my neighbour who set off about 0915. So I had the berth to myself. I got myself ready, mainsail cover off, lines untied, stepped aboard and did my usual reverse drive out of the berth and in to the river at 0930. There was a gentle breeze but directly from the north and blowing down the river and I couldn’t find a still enough spot to leave the helm and clamber around the mast to pull the main up. I got the fenders in then decided just to motor out to sea and see what things were like outside. Slightly misty but a very flat sea, sky bright but high cloud and little direct sunshine. I found about F2 of wind, unrolled the genoa and shut