Myth of Malham Race round Eddystone Lighthouse

May 31, 2010

The race started Friday at 1200 BST. Originally no wind was expected at all, so we feared for a long and slow race, but the evening prior to the race the weather scholars changed mind and gave a gale warning for Saturday night. When we went on the water we encountered 14-15 knots of wind over the deck, so we hoisted Genoa I M-H.

The crew consisted of Wout, Leen, Geoff Sinton (our Woodbridge host for at least 10 years), Floris, Jasper and myself.

Our start was carefull but alright.  When the wind increased upto 17-18 knots we thought it would be time to change the Genoa which we did by tacking to the Island and by tacking back to the Mainland, without any loss of time or course at all. At the end of the Solent, resp, at Hurst Castle we must have been in the 2nd or 3rd position of the fleet. So far, so good.

We passed Needles Fairway Buoy at port and continued direction Anvil Point. Not at any moment during the race I considered to challenge the tide at Bill of Portland. It was spring tide and when that would have wrong, more or less as happened in the last Fastnet Race, then we would be terribly stuck there.

Bill of Portland was left some 10NM to the North, so the averse tide was not too strong at that point.

Start Point we passed without any averse current really.

At Eddystone Lighthouse it was Wout who asked if we should not go in between the two rocks. We thought it best to consider that as a practical joke so we rounded all rocks. The wind had picked up again now blowing 20-22 knots. Very soon thereafter we hoisted Genoa II. Again the wind picked up now to 24-26 and both Wout and Leen did some excellent helming, not broaching a single time.

After some 8-10 hours the waves became really high so we had no choice but to take Spi II down which we did by spiking, after carefull planning how to perform taking down the spinaker. It all went alright.

This time we had the full tide in our favour, when passing Bill of Portland and that tide stayed with us until the finish.

We may have seen only 2 to 3 boats on the entire course so we had no idea how our score could possibly be. I personally had guessed 3rd considering our extreemely good start and considering we did not make any serious handling mistake or navigation error (according to the navigator at least ..).

Our ranking appeared to be 8th which was some kind of disappointment. Later on we had contact with Foggy Dew who informed us that they went close by the coast and managed to get the tide in time at Bill of Portland and kept us their kite like we did i.e. from Eddystone Light House to the finish North Head. Mind you they were some 5 hours ahead of us at the finish line.

I have to assume that Foggy Dew, and the other J’s have been surfing at 14-16 knots for more than 10 hours and that has been to Winsome detriment.

The Deckman is really fantastic and I used it already at the start. I was able to get the tides and the wind in the screen, but I did not yet manage to do the Isochrones as the navigator of Tonnere de Breskens told me to do/try.

Next weekend will be our learning weekend with Robert Langman-Wood of B&G.

Nothing gained, nothing lost and am looking already now for our next races.

Andy Cassell is in good shape and is able to willing to do both the Round the Island Race and the Cowes Week with us!!

Post by Harry Heijst | May 31, 2010 |

1 Comment

  1. Fell out of bed feeling down. This has brhinteged my day!

    by Elouise | 25 May 2014 | 07:37