August 1, 2011

RORC Channel Race. A race without too much wind. We had a very good start under spi I, actually the first boat over the line with a wide margin to the rest of the pack starting on the Island side. I estimate that the split was about 50-50. We were looking good until about half way of the Solent. We stayed first boat of the pack but the problem became the other pack which appeared to get a better wind and had a better speed of approximate 1 knot, including our well know competitor SELENE.

When passing Hurst Castle, after we took spinaker down at Sconce, we saw the boats ahead of us all going over the Shingles so I wondered what kind of new tactics they had in mind knowing that they had to turn East after Bridge. It must have taken me about 5 minutes to conclude that this was not their choice but merely a matter of loosing the wind and being drifted in that direction. We saw SELENE going very close to an undepth but she managed to tack (?) and get back towards the deeper water.

Then it also happened to us being swept sideways over the Shingles but later so no problem with draft for us. The wind dropped to 0.00 knots and we drifted for 1-2 hours after which we dropped anchor close to TONNERRE DE BRESKENS. The race started here again.

Unfortunately we stayed out of St Catherine’s Point too far so we lost some places in this part of the race. MAJOR TOM came ahead of us and we never managed to get any closer to him, at the very end of the race, then 0,46Nm. Not enough to beat him since on basis of our handicaps we had to be some 15 minutes ahead of him.

The wind increased to say 12 knots in the night on our way to Saltdean Outfall Light Buoy, sailing al the time under spinaker I. Three minutes before round that buoy we took the spinaker down but not so long after that we could see SELENE being under spinaker again so we copied him. Not knowing too well how to handle the new weapon Ruby we did not gain any speed with her so we will wait for the experts to come on board.


From then on we came closer all the time to MAJOR TOM but never enough. We came further away from LONGE PIERRE but not enough.

At the very end SELENE found better water close to the Forts and gained some 5 minutes on us, not enought to beat us but our final place was just 7th. Somewhat disappointed but we have to consider the very light weather and the mistakes we made.

It was definitely nice sailing with Sir Peter. For him this was a trainings race for Cowes Week. As to the weather during this race it was a holiday trip, not any hardship.

Now we, Joost Nijhoff and myself, are preparing Winsome for the Cowes Week and we made good progress today. Also the kitchen in Winsome’s Cottage got a clean up.


Wednesday this week the entire Winsome crew will arrive at Cowes for training days on Thursday and Friday.

Still Winsome needs another waterpump which hopefully will be installed still this week.

Will be continued.

Post by Harry Heijst | August 1, 2011 |