First race of 2015

5th April 2015

Having not sailed since October, and having had the sails off and cleaned and then re-fitted them, I was pleased to see a kind weather forecast for light winds today.

Stuart and I were at the boat nice and early to check everything was OK and we left the berth at 1100 for the 1200 start out at sea. I, and others, have been working hard over the winter to encourage more skippers to come racing and that seemed to have paid off (helped by the forecast) as 8 boats turned out. The race officer took time to explain the start process over the radio several times to make sure all were clear then we were off at 1200 on the dot. Gentle but slightly chilly SE breeze about force 2 and we all set off beating to the East.

The newly cleaned sails with new telltales seemed to set quite well and we were pleased with the speed, and with the pointing-ness. Elsa was well balanced, light on the helm, almost sailing herself in that light wind and flat sea. We were close to other boats ahead and behind though the faster ones were off into the distance as usual.


We went east for quite a while almost as far as Angmering beach before tacking round out to sea aiming for the Weather Station. Other boats took different routes with their tacks and we noted the west-going tidal stream was making people miss the mark so we made sure we were well east and only had to tack a couple of times before we were round the thing at 1315 or so. We'd gained several minutes on the boats we'd been close to half an hour earlier so we were pleased with that!

Warming up now with the wind more behind us as we ran back towards the Omar mark, finding time for a snack opportunity, then a gentle gybe past Omar and a broad reach back to the finish line off Littlehampton at 1355. The faster guys were half an hour ahead and a couple of the ones behind us had retired but we were not the last ones home. Some sunshine appeared as we motored back up the river in good spirits. Very pleased with how the boat handled, and that everything still works.

Back in the bar for beer and chips as usual we clocked in our finish time. The handicap system we're using this year (RYA NHC) does not seem to have been to my benefit as we were scored 5th out of the 6 finishers despite thinking we'd gone really well. 

I publish the results on the AYC club web site but I'll put a copy here just for interest:

R1 - 5/4/15 at 1200

Start: Start 1, Finishes: Elapsed time, Wind dir: SE, Ave wind: F2
RankBoatClassSailNoHelmNameNHC1ElapsedCorrectedPoints
1RhapsodyMGC273075Lee Cullen0.8651;21;031;10;061.0
2Port KerneFirst Class 8FRA763Dick Holden1.0431;13;551;17;062.0
3Dedicated DancerLimbo 69943YDavid Robinson0.8921;31;201;21;283.0
4Free n EasyWesterly Centaur2157Nick Clare0.7422;04;501;32;384.0
5ElsaSeal 22122Alistair Tyrrell0.8391;55;031;36;325.0
6SiriusTomahawk Peter Colyer0.7562;45;002;04;446.0
7Charlotte RusseMoody 29 David Mead0.904RET 8.0
7Pugsy TooHunter Ranger 245080Steve Doe0.823RET 8.0


Sailwave Scoring Software 2.16.7
www.sailwave.com

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