Cowes-Deauville Race 1st of June 2012

June 7, 2012

On board Leen, Floris, Joost, Jasper, Renze Runia, Jan de Vries and myself. Two sailsmakers on board gave good hope for a good score. It turned our differently.

With Jan on the helm we made a good start under spinaker and we followed a track just north of the Ryde Middle Bank, with several gybes to the North. We stayed close to Foggy Dew but with the lights winds we just could not keep his speed so she slipped away somewhat at this stage of the race already. Though the boats which stayed on the Island side looked to have a great disadvantage in the very beginning, one of them came surprisingly out as the boat reaching as first one the Forts. Winsome must have been within the first 7-8 boats to reach the Forts. We had a start of IRC Classes 3 and 4 simulataneously.

Then a big decision after the Forts resp. after Bembridge Ledge. The majority headed somewhat East looking for the wind coming from the East. My opinion was that the wind would indeed become Easterly but not starting in the East, looking at the UGrib Files. So I had a somewhat nervous time not knowing if the Easterly boats did it better than we did. They probably did not, but it became clear that with a wind of maximum 9-10 knots we were not match for the lighter boats.

From Bembridge Ledge we steered a compass course straight to Deauville letting us carry by the tide two times. It was a perfect sinusoid. One of my problems was the fact that our Heading is not correct so we had quite a difference with our course on the Compass. There is still a problem which I have been unable to sort out and it looks like that the reposition of the fire extinguiser from the chart table to the shower room did not complete the job. Will need to have a look next time.

Closer to Deauville all boats came together again, as usual, and we struggled with Longue Pierre and Eclipse of our friendly neighbour Greg Conary though we sailed in IRC Class 3. The wind reduced to say 5-6 knots and there was not much we could do.

Our position was 9/35 in IRC Class 4 resp. 20/93 in IRC Overall. Moondog won our Class, Foggy Dew won IRC Class 3 as well as IRC overall. Great victory again for Noël Racine!

Once we finished the wind came up and we had not a very nice return voyage of 98 Nm. First of all Renze got a bath of seawater when we crossed the bow wave of a container ship. Thereafter winds upto 30 knots, Winsome rolling over her longitudinal axe creating some casualties amongst the crew as to seasickness. OurMain became damages on the foot after we put one reef. I believe Mainsails are not really made to endure a reef for a longer time in waves. It was cold and rainy, even thunderstorms came our way close to Easterly entrance of the Solent.

We arrived in Cowes at around 4 AM on Sunday. After some sleep we prepared a welcome for Eclipse by placing a bottle of Champagne on her tender with the following inscription “From Winsome to Eclipse. Line honours of the E-Pier boats. Congratulations”


Post by Harry Heijst | June 7, 2012 |