Bay Leaf update and then the pursuit race

1st Sept 2019

Since the last trip, when the engine stopped, we've spent ages (myself and several friends at the club) trying to work out what was wrong. Initally I thought I was just out of diesel so I got 20 litres from Tescos and poured it in. Wouldn't start. Then we thought there was an airlock or blocked filter so spent a week or two pumping and bleeding and opening the diesel injectors and trying over and over. No good. Eventually it became clear the the very old diesel in the 45 year old steel tank had gone off or got dirty and blocked the pipe as it exits the tank.

So my friend John spent a morning manually pumping the diesel back out into a plastic drum and tried various ways to unblock the pipes but again no good. So there I sat with a big drum full of dodgy diesel and nothing working. The idea eventually came to simply abandon that metal tank for now and I went and got a 12 litre portable plastic tank. Plenty of room under the cockpit floor so I lashed it down, connected up my diesel pipes, then poured 10 litres out of the yellow drum through a funnel filtered using old socks. Diesel everywhere but it worked and she runs fine now. Note - replace or remove and clean old metal tank over winter. And having started and run the motor for half an hour in the berth it seems all is good. I've also replaced the main halyard and the genoa sheets and even slept on board one night just for fun.

Today, Sunday, there was a cruiser pursuit race. I have done these before - boats start in order of handicap, slowest first, in theory after the race duration of 100 minutes we all finish together. In practice you have to look ahead and behind to see where your finish position is. Forecast was for F3-F4 W and sunny weather. At the club I found Janet and Steve as arranged, then found Roger looking to crew for someone, so four of us aboard as we set off. The wind was very peculiar at the start line which had been set fairly close inshore, the wind seemed to be bouncing off the dunes, and the tide had turned and set to the west as our start time 1239 approached.

I managed to get us close to the line a minute or so early just as the wind fell away and we nearly crossed the line backwards as the tide carried us through. But the timing was good and we got ourselves spun around onto starboard going forwards just at the right moment. Several slower boats started ahead of us but after the beat to the first mark we were ahead of them all, first boat around, which was great. Bay Leaf seems to sail well, it doesn't really feel like you're doing well as she doesn't heel much and the genoa is a bit baggy and flappy but suddenly we were at the mark ahead of everyone.

This picture shows Bay Leaf on the left leading the group, I hadn't realised how striking she looks with her dark hull amongst all the white boats:




Shortly afterwards we were overtaken but we enjoyed the moment! We were within touching distance of Cadenza a couple of times but he got ahead, Reef Knot tried to catch us but didn't, and the other Centaur Free N Easy were having a bad day well behind. Sooper Trooper was in the lead and one of the two Limbos had to go back in with a failed shroud. We got round the course one and a half times before the finish was called, we were 6th out of the 12 in the end, and the fastest Westerly which was most encouraging.

The engine started fine and we got back to the berth at 1445 for the usual clubhouse banter. The boat and crew went well, I was very pleased with the result and we'd had a great sail.
RankBoatClassSailNoHelmNameAMSPlacePoints
1Sooper TrooperSeawolf 265614TPhil Turnbull0.86311.0
2Kusi-YHunter 31020Kurt Lyall0.98022.0
3DancerHunter Delta8625YGeorge Whitehouse0.85633.0
4Dedicated DancerLimbo 6.69943YDavid Robinson0.90544.0
5CadenzaTrapper 5009102TJohn Kerr 55.0
6Bay LeafWesterly Centaur1499Alistair Tyrrell0.79966.0
7Reef KnotKonsortKT361Jonathan Penberthy0.85477.0
8Van NuysPirate ExpressK299Paul Caldecott0.76088.0
9Free 'N' EasyWesterly Centaur2157Nick Clare0.79999.0
10AyellaSea Wolf 26 TK91Stuart Gibbs0.7861010.0
11Little AukOysterman 16 Jon Norris0.7501111.0
12PetrelloWesterly396Mary Rowland 1212.0
13KirLimbo 6.62768LDick Holden0.905RET14.0



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