Second race of 2018

15 April 2018

Carlo joined me as planned at 0930 on Sunday morning, the forecast was for southerly F4-5 and there were lots of crews getting ready for the race. Slightly misty and cool. Carlo's a fellow club member and he's thinking about getting a Seal 22 so he was keen to have a go in mine.

I still had the reef in the mainsail but once we got to sea it was clear that the wind was less than forecast, it was about F3 and the sea was flat. So about 5 mins before the start sequence we suddenly decided to shake it out. Carlo had to go to the mast and fiddle with the downhaul, halyard, kicker etc., to get it hoisted fully. There's a bit of work for me to do before next time sorting all those bits of string out because I don't think I've got it rigged right since we launched the boat last month. But we got the main nice and tight and it seemed to be well set.

There were eight cruisers sailing about downwind of the start mark and trying to get lined up for the gate start as the minutes ticked down. We managed to get in a bit of clear water and crossed on starboard near the mark and set off without incident and quite pleased with ourselves. It took us about 45 mins to beat to the first mark to the south, Elsa seemed very well set and handled nicely. She's much lighter on the helm than she used to be, I think that's due to the new mainsail (last year) plus the fact that we spend more time getting it properly set. The three fastest boats were soon well ahead but we seemed to be the best of the rest. Three or four tacks and we were at the mark though we just failed to make it on the last tack and had to short-tack for 10 seconds to get around it.

Next was a long run to the West mark. I've also spent a lot of time thinking about the way the tide works, it's always sweeping us west at about 1 knot during these races. Using the GPS to point at the target mark, and aiming the boat about 25 degrees to the east of it, thinking that 4 knots of boat speed thataway with 1 knot of tide pushing us to the side will result in arriving at the mark in the least time. A bit of trigonometry in the head. But this seems to work and in about 15 mins we were at the mark and around. The slower smaller cruisers were nicely behind us now but it meant we had nobody to shout at!

Quite a long leg now all the way out to the Outfall mark, having set the GPS target and looked at the arrow on the display it seemed like we could go the whole way on one closehauled starboard tack. This was slightly boring and we were getting a little cold but after another 45 mins we were at the mark and around heading for the finish at the harbour entrance.


On a run again and trying to set the boat goosewinged, using the same method as before and aiming the boat about 25 degrees to the right of the harbour, we sailed along nicely and a bit warmer now with the wind behind. Through the finish line at the harbour entrance on 2 hrs 14 mins elapsed time.

The GPS track in green below shows - some manoeuvring within the harbour as we set the sail,  leaving the harbour, milling around before the start, a zigzag beat to the south mark (with a small jig at the end as we short-tacked to make the mark). A short diagonal run to the west mark, a reverse diagonal long closehauled leg to Outfall, then the final longer run back to and into the harbour.


The club was running a beer festival and a special menu of pie and mash. This was just the job as we arrived back around 1345 having been at sea about three and half hours. Pleased with our final position, fourth overall, nowhere near the three fastest guys but best of the rest which I'm happy with! 

R2 - 2018-04-15 at 1100

Race officer Jack Munnelly
Course - Gate start, South, West, Outfall, Harbour entrance
Start: Start 1, Finishes: Elapsed time, Wind dir: 180, Ave wind: 15
BoatClassSailNoHelmNameNHCElapsedCorrectedPoints
Dedicated DancerLimbo 6.69943YDavid Robinson0.8331;42;221;25;161.0
DancerHunter Delta8625YDick Holden0.8801;46;031;33;192.0
Sooper TrooperSea Wolf 265614TPhil Turnbull0.8451;52;111;34;483.0
ElsaSeal 22122Alistair Tyrrell0.7902;14;311;46;164.0
LassieVivacity 20 Mark Nicholls0.7912;23;321;53;325.0
ScampiFour 21 Jonathan Penberthy0.7402;38;001;56;556.0
Van NuysPirate ExpressK299George Whitehouse0.760RET 9.0
PoppiCobra 850 Peter Colyer0.834DNS 9.0
Sailwave Scoring Software 2.19.8
www.sailwave.com

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