Annual regatta

24 July 2015

AYC had its annual regatta this weekend with racing over 3 days. The forecast wasn't good, variable and strong winds and rain expected. However, Georgia, Dominik and I turned up for the briefing at 2.45pm Friday.

I've always wanted to do dinghy-style racing with the cruisers and this was the day. Five boats went out for the 4pm start, mostly the usual Arun club racers but with one visiting yacht Crazy Horse. The club president was away for the weekend but he'd loaned his cruiser to Turner. A line start off the committee boat with marks laid out, 90 minute expected duration. As we went out to sea there was very little wind and we all flapped about waiting for the start sequence, Tom the race officer was doing his best to set the course marks such that we had a windward  - leeward sausage course but the wind kept changing direction.

After the 5-4-1-0 start sequence of flags and hoots we'd got a fairly good start about the middle of the field. We nearly made the windward mark on one tack but Elsa wasn't pointing well and we had to tack to get round it. This became a bit of a theme for the afternoon! The wind was increasing all the time and still changing direction from NW to N and maybe even NE some of the time.

For a while we had a fair bit of rain and poor visibility but it did clear up again. The wind kept shifting and was much stronger towards the end of the race. Aboard Elsa the crew was damp but in good spirits as always, Georgia was huddled in the corner but perked up when she took the helm. Dominik was bravely clipped on to the foredeck though we did let him back into the cockpit once or twice.

We didn't give our best sailing performance though. Elsa didn't seem to point very well and we were unlucky with the wind shifts - even on the downwind leg, we seemed to be beating into the wind all the time. After 90 minutes we'd done three laps but we'd been lapped by everyone else, some of them twice!

Back at the clubhouse everyone dried off and we noted we were 5th out of 5 but it had been fun even though the conditions were not ideal for us.

I'd already planned to miss the Saturday races but was hoping to be back for Sunday. However, by the end of Saturday and looking at the forecast, the Sunday racing was called off so that single 5th place finish was the only result we clocked up for the weekend. No trophy for us! The visitors in Crazy Horse won all the races, a fast boat well sailed. Turner did well to come 4th overall, his first time in command of a cruiser.


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