Wednesday and Thurday’s changing fortunes

August 8, 2008

Wednesday race started with very very light winds sending the boats from the RYS startline to the West i.e. passing the usual bottleneck of Spit Lepe. We managed to do that quite well and we went so far -in the double meaning of it- that we hit two times the bottom but got free very very soon after our tack. Maximum efforts. When crossing the Solent to Elephant buoy we made sure not to make the same mistake as earlier in the week so carefull planning between Andy, Boj and myself created a good route considering wind, tide and boatspeed at that time. All looked great -especially in relation to the other competitors such as SALVO and VANILLA, until some 8 minutes prior to reaching Elephant buoy when the wind changed 120 degrees! Then the wind died and soon  we tried to go North under spinaker. SALVO being the most Westerly boat got the new wind first and sneaked by the buoy. We stayed during the rest of the race rather close to the leading boats but never managed to get closer to them except for VANILLA. We passed her and she was quite a distance behind us. On the one but last spinaker leg towards Skandia buoy we decided to hoist the Daisy. Shortly before that buoy we decided to change Genoa I Light for I Medium and say 4 minutes before we had to take the spinaker away the boat was full with sails. Disaster struck when we did not manage to make a correct gybe and we had to proceed against the tide sideways towards the shore. We barely managed to stay away from the undeep shoreline but we lost dearly. We could say VANILLA make a good rounding and she powered away from us. Then I called for buoy Raymarine but getting closer we saw VANILLA passing it on the wrong side so we intended to protest her until Boj discovered we needed to round buoy Quinnell instead. Another mistake. VANILLA won the race and when we consider how close we have been with her during the end stage of the race, we could have won this one ourselves. Bad luck! Thursday was a much better race with a start with hardly any wind on the Committee Boat line. Our first start was recalled. The second start was announced with a black flag meaning that any boat which has been over the startline within the one minute signal prior to the start would be automatically disqualified. Andy managed a great start but soon after our start we noticed to both SALVO and VANILLA had another wind and sailed some 20 degrees higher. Fortunately the wind veered back and we came close with them at the first buoy. At the end of the race we saw SALVO and VANILLA in front us until VANILLA made a navigational error by going to another buoy than Noris. When they discovered their mistake we passed them already. At the very last part of the race VANILLA passed us again and came just so many seconds in front of us that they had on corrected time the same time so we became -not without luck- 2nd ex aequo with them. SALVO having made her 3rd victory will not be very hard to beat for the overall price. Still we go for it. Harry 

Post by Harry Heijst | August 8, 2008 |