Cruiser race with George

3rd July 2022

Cruiser Sea Horse Series race 1 on a Sunday afternoon, bright sunshine but a fairly stiff wind maybe F4-5 from the southwest. George was with me today for the first time, which was great. As usual Bay Leaf was stuck in the mud till 1300 for a 1330 start but we just about made it out to sea in time!

The start line was quite near the harbour entrance to the East, a string of yellow buoys. Alas I misjudged the start, making an excellent approach at full speed on starboard to the wrong place, we lost almost 3 minutes as we suddenly had to tack across and behind Little Auk and others before we turned back onto starboard and got across the line. Getting Bay Leaf properly set up for the conditions took us a moment, George offering to go to the mast and reduce the topping lift, then clambering around the side deck adjusting the genoa cars, but once we got her pointing properly she was really flying into the waves as we beat our way to the South mark. We got there in 25 minutes which is about twice as fast as usual. She was almost over-pressed in the strong breeze under full sail, with a lesser crew I might have reduced the sail but we were just about okay. 

Around the South mark in the middle of the fleet - a few ahead, a few astern of us - we had a fast reach down to the West mark, getting there in seven minutes, tacking around and reaching back out to the South mark still at a blistering pace (for a Centaur). Our final turn was a tricky but controlled gybe around then back towards the finish. Our genoa got itself inconveniently wrapped around the forestay and we lost a few seconds turning into the wind to get it to unwrap itself - while we were doing that I could see Paisley's Limbo ahead practically knocked onto her beam ends. Ayella had been close behind us the whole time but never quite got past us despite being a more powerful boat. 

We crossed the finish line into the harbour after just 53 minutes of absolutely flying, a short race in terms of time but very tiring! Ayella just 7 seconds behind us. In the harbour we encountered our friends on Reef Knot attempting to berth under sail alone but she got blown off track by the gusts and had to be towed back to the club pontoons, we left them plenty of space to do that which gave us time to get our mainsail down and fenders out ready for landing. As always, I enjoyed being back in the quiet of the harbour and was quite happy to motor up and down waiting for our moment to approach our berth.

Recovering with a beer and some snacks we were amazed to find ourselves in second place, from a fleet of nine boats. Clearly these were good conditions for the Centaur - too much wind for the others to fly spinnakers, a Limbo getting knocked over, a couple of boats retiring, but what a day for us. If I hadn't lost three minutes at the start line we might even have won. Completely brilliant sailing, thanks again to George for coming with me!

R1 - 03-07-2022 at 1330

Start: Start 1, Finishes: Elapsed time
1Dedicated DancerLimbo 6.69943YD Robinson1037 39;330;38;081.0
2Bay LeafCentaur1499A Tyrrell1305 53;200;40;522.0
3RhapsodyMGC273075L Cullen959 41;140;43;003.0
4AyellaSea Wolf 26 bk91XS Gibbs1221 53;270;43;474.0
5BodkinLimbo 6.6 A Dudley1037 46;480;45;085.0
6LegendLimbo 6.6127P Thomson1037 52;430;50;506.0
7Little AukOysterman 161623J Norris1350 1;13;180;54;187.0
8Reef KnotKonsortKT361J Penberthy1181 DNS 10.0
8El CidJaguar 27 M Anderson1173 DNS 10.0

Sailwave Scoring Software 2.29.0


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