Easter Sunday

17 April 2022

Easter weekend and it was warm and sunny in Littlehampton with a decent SE breeze and a sparkling sea. We had lots of family staying nearby for the weekend and my nephews Alex and Barney were keen to come sailing. My friend Stuart was also with us for a club race due to start at 1100. By 1015 we were all aboard ready to go, the engine started first time. But there's quite a lot of silt in the berth at the moment, with HW at 1230 we'd hoped to be afloat and able to leave but we couldn't get off until about 1040. Fortunately the race officer knew and waited for us. Four boats came out to race, and our family members were on the harbour wall watching us motor out. The lads were kept busy with the halyard and the fenders.

Once outside the harbour with the engine off, all sails out, it was clear that we were going to have a good sail in a fresh SE wind around F3. Not much time to do many practice tacks and get the crew in shape as we were close to the (delayed) start time. It was not my best start, a minute or so late over the line, then quite a long beat to the east against the tide to the first mark. We managed to get a decent rhythm on the tacking once the guys got the hang of it and we were in clear second place at the first turn 45 minutes or so later. Once around the mark it was a long stand out to sea on port tack closehauled hoping to make the next mark on one tack, Barney now on the helm, but the increasing tide pushed us too far west so we had to put in a couple more tacks in order to get around. We took a moment to eat the sandwiches and pork pies. Dedicated Dancer was well ahead and on her way back, Van Nuys was still going though some distance behind, and Little Auk seemed to have retired and gone back in as we couldn't see her. 

Gybing carefully around the mark the final leg was downwind on starboard. Alex was now on the helm and learning how to use transit bearings to check that we were heading in the right direction - aiming the boat well to the east of the intended destination, allowing the tide to carry us west. The wind was now behind us so we were a lot warmer in the sunshine. Stuart and the lads were having a lively conversation, all three of them having daughters to talk about. The finish line was across the harbour entrance and we made it through after 1 hr 58 mins elapsed race time. Starting the engine just after we crossed the line, running in neutral, we carried on into the river under sail. As always, entering the harbour was a bit of a relief and once again some family members were there to wave at us.

Back on the berth and time to finish off the snacks and get a quick drink before heading off. Reporting our finish time to the race officer we found that we were second out of the four boats, another encouraging result, and the nephews had a great time. Excellent day.

Cruiser Bank Holiday Series 2022

R1 - 17-4-2022 at 1100

Start: Start 1, Finishes: Elapsed time
1Dedicated DancerLimbo 6.69943YD Robinson10371;14;011;11;231.0
2Bay LeafCentaur1499A Tyrrell13051;58;141;30;362.0
3Van NuysExpress PirateK299P Caldecott1385DNF 5.0
3Little AukOysterman J Norris1350DNF 5.0

Sailwave Scoring Software 2.29.0


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