Rolex Fastnet Race 2009. Last part to the finish at Plymouth.

August 15, 2009

After a cruelling passage of the Bishop Rock, no wind at all, tides
against us, being pushed towards the rocks around Bishop Rock, we
reached a hopeless ranking of 101 overall, resp. 21 in our Class and in
that position we passed Bishop Rock at 23:21 UTC.

Again, I wish to repeat this, the spirit [=stemming, voor Koen] on board
remained very very good though we did surrender in our mind to our sofar
worst score in any of the previous 4 Fastnet Races but Big Boys do not
cry, isn’t it? [stoer, Koen].

To give you some idea of our position in relation to our competitors:
Prime Time and Parsifal 60nM in front; Malice 55, Bongani 58, Foggy Dew
14, Off Beat 30, Skidbladner 30, Aria 30, White Knight 30.

Then Professor Kohne predicted a change in the weather with wind coming
from the West, increasing in speed over the next 10-16 hrs. We also
realized that the boats in front us would be encountering the tide
against them at Lizard Point.

During our slow slow passage from the Fastnet Rock to the Bishop Rock,I
proposed a kind of discussion with the entire crew and rehearse/evaluate
what did happen during this race. The same system we used during Cowes
Week. Everyone give his opinion and we finished by summarizing ideas to
improve our sailing from that very moment.
1. Create more time for navigational preparations
2. Be together with the entire crew shortly before the start of the race
3. Submit a Masterplan about the Race to the crew
4. Organize/dictate a qualifying/training race for the Fastnet Race
earlier in the season
5. Not divert too much from the Rhumbline
6. Take away old rhumblines in the Transas Charts
6. Improved change of the watch i.e. exchange information
7. Never change a procedure during a race, be it a sailchange,
blocksetting, crew position or whatever

Right after rounding Bishop Rock  we set spi I. Due to the fact that the
boats in front of us had probably no wind at all and were encountering a
tide againt them we got somewhat closer. Our position improved to 93
overall [300 competitors] resp. 15 in Class IRC-2 [80 competitors].
Denomination in the rest of this message will be 93/15.

We came closer to the boats in front of us all the time. We had the new
wind from the West and we did not yet have the averse tide at Lizard Pt.
85/13 when passing Lizard Pt on Friday at 07:02.

Then all of sudden the race started again. Boats which we considered
unbeatable 12 hours earlier came into reach (of my calculations at
least) except Exile and Foggy Dew.

A couple of hours later we did see good chances to pass both Bongani and
Malice on rating and Exile and Foggy Dew came theoretically in sight as
well.

We had very very exiting last hours to the Finish hunting Exile and
Foggy Dew who raced next to each other. Every hour we came 0,5 Nm
cloiser due to our higher speed probably generated by Joost’s Daisy. We
needed to be only within 7 minutes from them at the Finish and in spite
of a very daring passage of rocks close to the finishline we did not
make it and we missed them at about 10 minutes.

At least some of our misfortunes and mistakes in the earlier part of the
race were compensated by luck at the end of the race.

Result 71/7. In IRC-2B Class we had the same result as in 1999 i.e. 5th
place bringing us another medaillon in the Winsome collection.

It was a fantastic result with the maximum of exitement one can possibly
imagine.

Meantime Frank and Pieter K left Winsome in Plymouth. They will be
penalized for jumping-ship sometime in the future.

In 20 minutes from now, Saturday 15 August 11:40 UTC we will reach the
Needles so we clean Winsome and prepare for the last race this year i.e.
Cowes-Cherbourg, unless we would do one more race in Holland.

I say hello to all readers/abonnees of our Webpage and I do thank Aline
for being so kind as to publish all my nonsense this race.

Post by Harry Heijst | August 15, 2009 |