End of August already

27 Aug 2018

Out for a cruiser race today on August bank holiday with my friend Nick R as crew for the first time. He's an experienced sailor and club instructor so I was confident despite the conditions being a bit brisk. Force 4 from the West on a cool day with grey sky and a bit of swell running. Maybe gusting towards F5. We nearly set the reef in the main but in the end we went with full main and just unrolled 3/4 of the genoa. Seven boats were out for the race on a 1200 start time.

We got a good clean start second over the line ahead of most of the fleet. Unusually instead of a hard beat to the first mark the race officer had set a course such that we were able to lay the first mark on one tack on a fine reach, and we remained ahead of the group for an enjoyable few minutes until they began to catch us up. We were clocking up to 7 knots. My friend Jonathan in his boat Reef Knot towards the back of the pack took this photo as we approached the first mark:


From left to right we can see Dedicated Dancer in the lead and about to go around the yellow mark on his port side, then Dancer, then Sooper Trooper with the golden sails, then Elsa nice and upright, then Avocet on the right.

With boats ahead, beside and behind us we got around the mark and set on a run towards the second mark to the east, wind behind us now. Nick got on the foredeck to hold the genoa out (now fully unrolled) to starboard and I held the boom so the main stayed to port, goose-winged we foamed along nicely with the occasional wallow as the swell came up behind us. The two fastest boats were a fair way ahead and fighting with each other, Reef Knot and Avocet were close behind us but didn't overtake. A long run but we held onto our place and gybed around the mark and headed towards the shore, now on a reach again towards the third mark. Reef Knot got past us on this leg. The wind had dropped a little but was still around F4 so we decided to try and roll a little bit of genoa away as we were expecting a long beat back to the finish.

The last leg was quite hard going and we were crossing tacks with Avocet and Reef Knot close enough to exchange verbal comments on each other's sailing as we passed, they seemed to be pointing better than us so we thought we'd lost our position. They opted to go close inshore but we decided to stay further offshore knowing the tide was behind us and would be stronger further out. To our delight as we approached the finish line we could see that we'd got back in front of both of them and crossed the line a few seconds ahead! Sadly ahead of us we saw Sooper Trooper suffer a torn mainsail which they had to take down but they continued to sail under genoa alone until they crossed the line five minutes behind us, well done to them. Nick had been a hardworking crew constantly tweaking the sails and his tactical advice had been very helpful.

Once through the line we turned away to get clear and rolled the genoa away, the motor started just fine and we were back on our berth around 1330 in time to get a bit of refreshment.

Overall this was quite a quick race, our elapsed time was 1hr 19m 51s with those other two boats around 1h 20m. Very pleased to be third out of seven boats on corrected time and an excellent race!

R8 - 2018-08-27 at 1200

Race officer Dick Holden
Start: Start 1, Finishes: Elapsed time, Wind dir: 270, Ave wind: 17
BoatClassSailNoHelmNameNHCElapsedCorrectedPoints
Dedicated DancerLimbo 6.69943YDavid Robinson0.8811;12;341;03;561.0
DancerHunter Delta8625YDick Holden0.9041;11;401;04;472.0
ElsaSeal 22122Alistair Tyrrell0.8181;19;511;05;193.0
AvocetSadler 26 Kerry Trip0.8371;20;321;07;244.0
Reef KnotKonsort361J Penberthy0.8631;20;021;09;045.0
Sooper TrooperSea Wolf 265614TPhil Turnbull0.8831;25;021;15;056.0
Van NuysPirate ExpressK299George Whitehouse0.7361;43;001;15;487.0



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