Desktop perspective

August 19, 2011

Dear WINSOME, Harry, Leen, Wout, Geoff, Paul, Jasper, Floris and Nijhof,

Congratulations with this massive achievement, although the result might not be what you all were hoping for, I honestly believe you did very, very well. Well done!

After our separation in Cowes, Heikens, Dantuma, Sue and I had dinner with Bob at Pier View. Bob is Greg’s (our East Cowes Marina neighbor) hand in preparing ECLIPSE for the Fastnet Race. Besides showing us some interesting information and photo’s on one crew member’s former life as a pole dancer, he also mentioned that the best way of enjoying the Fastnet is from behind the computer. For me this was the first time following this race from my computer. Indeed it was quite interesting.

We watched WINSOME’s start from LUNA and were rather surprised by her gutsy port tack approach in a fleet of 69 boats. There was a massive tide bias favoring the port end of the line, which made this move even more gutsy, too risky actually. WINSOME was pushed OCS by starboard boats and had to re-start, which could only be done 2 minutes after the start. She started from the back of the IRC 4 fleet, making short tacks near the green and Egypt point. As all could see in ‘winning tides’ from half an hour after the start, the tide in the middle of the Solent would turn and be running to the west with quite a lot of speed. WINSOME was the only boat clever enough to make a long port tack to the middle of the Solent. By doing so, and sailing the boat very well, she was the first to reach Hurst Castle.

This impressive catch up was her first great achievement of an impressive race.

Although conditions were not as summer like as one would hope for, WINSOME was (probably) sailed very well. From a desktop perspective, she more or less continuously made ground on all other boats in her class all the way up to the Irish sea. Well done!

When approaching Fastnet Rock, WINSOME was leading the fleet by 25 NM and the 4 runner up boats by 15 NM. A right hand shift was in the forecast, though WINSOME was on the lefthand side of the fleet. I feared that this would take the lead from her. In contrary, WINSOME managed to enlarge the gap between them and the following boats by short tacking – probably on almost every wind shift – towards Fastnet Rock. Great sailing guys! You even faced difficulties with an ill crew member, which you overcame. Missing somebody in sailing is one problem. Not having a bed for somebody who just finished his watch is a much bigger problem. You’ve managed to live with it and still sail well.

On the downwind leg towards the Bishop you managed to even make more ground on all the other boats. At home we were all believing that victory was yours. It could not go wrong anymore.

All the way from Cowes to entering Plymouth Bay, only four IRC class 3 boats managed to pass you. That is excellent. Some of those in front of you still managed to finish with speed. You and others were forced to park 10 NM off shore. No wind, with the finish in sight, that must have been frustrating… Poseidon closed the doors. Tantalizing for all of us behind the computer, but even more for you. It was only by then that the following boats were able to catch up. Although this is part of the sport you enjoy so much, it probably doesn’t feel fair. Still in difficult circumstances, you managed to finish as first boat on the water in IRC class 3.

Dear WINSOME and your crew, you did well, extremely well. A great recovery from a bad start, excellent sailing, good strategies, overcoming sailing with an ill person and leading the fleet for over 600 NM is a great performance, no matter what. Of course it would have been nicer to claim victory in the end, but that did not happen. Iromigy will (again) collect a first (class) prize at the citadel. Congratulations to them, but also to you, as you have probably done better then ever before…


Post by Boj | August 19, 2011 |


  1. Dear Winsome crew,
    It was fantastic to follow you during the race. Even at night i was looking at the standings and weather reports on the blackberry. You all deserved much much more and i want to thank you all for this effort. Thanks.
    Brgds Jan Maarten

    by Jan Maarten | 19 Aug 2011 | 07:55
  2. Dear Winsome, you did very well. It was exciting to follow the race from behind the screen. Hope the person who was ill is feeling better by now!

    by Nicole | 19 Aug 2011 | 20:07