First sail of 2019

7th April 2019

I left Elsa in the water over the winter and took the engine home, and painted the rudder blade. In March I put her back together and Georgia helped me put the sails back on. I knew she was pretty much ready to sail so I went along ready for the first race of the season.

Sunday was quite sunny and bright but the forecast was for light and variable winds backing from E round to S at about F2. After I got the boat ready, and being on my own, I hung around the clubhouse and found a couple of guys keen to go sailing. Steve I know slightly and Jonathan was there for his first time. I was not going to stay out for long and Steve had put his dog in his car so the plan was to do the race start then retire and come back in.  With three of us aboard we set off about 1145 and motored out into the sunshine with the main up. There was a big ship due out later and we listened to the radio as the race officer deliberated on where to set the start line, away from the harbour, and taking into account the light winds. The wind direction changed just as he was calling the start sequence. There were about eight cruisers come out for the race and in the light breeze we took care not to get swept too far away by the tide. We were pleased with our start and were about third across the line, others had been caught out by the light winds and were too far down-tide to hit the line on time.

We sailed away for about ten minutes enjoying looking back at around four cruisers astern of us but I could see it would take a couple of hours probably to get round the lap in these conditions. We agreed to stick to plan A so we tacked around and sailed back to the harbour. The big ship was due to leave about 1330 and we were back in the berth by 1310. We'd enjoyed the brief sail and I was pleased to see Elsa was well set up and she did well for her first time out.

I'm in the process of buying another boat so with some reluctance I will be putting Elsa up for sale, hope she goes to a good home! New boat hopefully in June so maybe time for one or two more trips aboard Elsa. The new one is to be a 26 footer with an inboard engine and a lot more space and stability, similar age to Elsa, more details on that once I have completed the deal.

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