Showing posts from April, 2017

Winning the Owers Race

22 April 2017 Conditions seemed ideal today so without a crew lined up I decided to attempt the Owers Race single handed. We were expecting a nice N - NE light wind so the sea would be flat and it was a bright and dry day. As mentioned in previous blog posts, the idea is for skippers to decide their own departure times such that they go around the Owers Buoy just as the tidal stream changes direction thus getting a favourable tide both ways. I'd decided to aim to go around between 2 and 2.30pm. I moved Elsa out into the river onto a pontoon hammerhead and spent several minutes whilst tied up hoisting and adjusting the sail to get it just right. Dick had set a course across to Pagham, round a divers buoy there, out to East Boro Head, down to Owers then back. I set off in the middle of the group of 5 boats, starting my stopwatch at 1040. I had a nice reach across to Pagham, bubbling along nicely. One of the faster boats, Dancer, was behind me and it took him ages to overtake - t

Easter Monday with Charlie and Barney

17 April 2017 My niece Charlie and her husband Barney came to see us and to go sailing today. There was a cruiser race going on but we'd decided beforehand that we were just going to go out for a bit to potter around. The clubhouse was fairly quiet so we left Catherine with a cup of tea and got the boat ready. Charlie and Barney live aboard a narrowboat near Oxford so I knew they'd be OK with tiller steering. Leaving Barney on the helm I went forward to hoist the main, and got it good and tight this time, Very light winds in the river so plenty of time to get it right before we motored out to sea. Charlie particularly enjoyed waving at the people along the harbour wall. We could see the cruiser race fleet in the distance but there was hardly any wind. We got the genoa unrolled and had a quiet and pleasant sail up and down near the harbour entrance, Barney on the helm. We tacked around a couple of times looking for wind but in the end we just enjoyed the peace and quiet. W

First time out in 2017

9th April 2017 We fitted the new mainsail a few weeks ago and hoisted it a couple of times to see if it was rigged and setting properly but we hadn't sailed with it. Over the winter I've also repainted the rudder blade with fresh Trilux and put it all back together. The engine had started after much effort and a new spark plug. So we were just about ready for the first cruiser race. In the club we've been doing a lot to encourage the cruisers to go racing and that seemed to have worked as 11 cruisers went to sea. Georgia was with me, probably for the only time this year as she's away working in Greece till November. We hoisted the main as tight as we could and tweaked the boom down, this sail seems to be a tiny bit longer at the luff than the old one, but we were pleased with the way it set as we motored out. A gentle F2 from the south east, very sunny day and warm for April. We made a good start and set off on the first leg, beating into the SEly towards the weat