Last RORC Race in 2011. Cowes-Cherbourg.

September 4, 2011

Eerst een bericht voor mijn kleinkinderen Theun, Wiecher, Maas en Hidde die nog niet zo goed Engels kunnen lezen. Opa heeft deze race niet gewonnen en het was wel een beetje zijn eigen schuld. Ik zal jullie de rest thuis vertellen.

Again we lost a race at the very end only. Contrary to the Fastnet Race, we did it ourselves this time.

We expected hardly any wind but at the start it was blowing some 10 knots and we could make a (good) start under spinaker I.

The entire fleet proceeded until 2 Nm from Bembridge Ledge Buoy when it appeared the wind died. Since we did not know if this was caused by the boats ahead of us, like Erivale III (1st in IRC-1 and overall winner), being too close to the shore, we tried by staying somewhat on the East to avoid that problem. We did not succeed so our positions stayed the same.

After we passed Bembridge Ledge Buoy the entire fleet had a big problem. Tacks to the IoW brought us in the wrong direction -at least that is what we believed until we talked to the winner in our class Iromiguy who did exactly that and stayed all the way under the island- whilst the other tack carried us just East.

Two-three hours later the wind picked and we progressed very well direction Cherbourg staying very close to both Foggy Dew and to La Reponse, in spite of the fact that we had seldom more than 6 knots of wind.

Coming close to the bay of Cherbourg we had to fight the tide which was considering la grande marée very strong, upto 4,5 knots. The wind died again and staying close to both Foggy Dew and la Reponse we did not know what to do. Our, or better my, decision was to try getting as soon as possible into the bay and try to get from East to West very very close to the shore. Once we got closer to the shore we found indeed that 4,5 knots of tide whilst at the same time the wind dropped to 2 knots. We had no other choice than to anchor so we tried our light weather anchor which we coupled to our 200 metres Kevlar line. It broke RIGHT AWAY.

We, or let us say Leen, did dig up the heavier anchor and we used our reserve sheets and halyard to get a long line. It did hold but being at anchor in a 4,5 knots of tide is looking somewhat frightening. We stayed say two hours at anchor. Once we lifted the anchor, not without sufficient problems, we tried to get West or Ouest as the French would say. It went very very slow. On the AIS I could see the other boats who stayed West/Ouest getting straight into the harbor of Cherbourg. We had been drifting simply too far to the East/Est to make any chance getting ahead of the other group.

Big congratulations to Iromiguy (1st in our Class IRC-4) who had the best tactics of the entire fleet by shaving the coastline of the IoW, and to Foggy Dew (4th IRC-3) and to La Reponse (3rd in IRC-2) who stayed West/Ouest once our tracks separated.

No price at the finish, no Sophie. We just arrived 12 hours after our ETA. Life can be hard.

We are looking now forward to one more race -Nab Tower Race- with the ISC, under command of Captain Baines/Morton, on Saturday 17th of September, followed by a day of sail testing on Sunday 18th of September. On both days our sailmaker Renze Runia of UK Halsley will be on board. We will be particularly have a good look at our Genoa III which has to be replaced next year, regardless.

We returned to Cowes with use or our engine. Only the last three hours we hoisted the main to give us at least the feeling that we sailed back.

Post by Harry Heijst | September 4, 2011 |