Winsome’s reward in RORC Channel Race

August 6, 2012

Another race. The last one prior to Cowes Week, the one but last in the RORC Championship 2012.

On board Leen, Joost, Jimme, Francois,  Floris, Jan de Vries and myself.

Start at 0800 local time. As a result of a passing cargo vessel, we passed the startline too early so we had to return and restart which cost us about 1-2 minutes. Very soon however we made our lost ground good. We started with Genoa I though we knew that very soon we would need Genoa II and that happened on our way from No Man’s Land Fort to Bembridge. One small tack to take Genoa I down. Perfect handling.

After Bembridge Ledge we went inshore, making short tacks all the time. We were competing with double handed Elixir and with Courrier Vintage. Unfortunately we could not see if Gery Trentesaux was himself on board. I did not believe so.

After we cleared St Catherine’s Point we headed South towards Cherbourg. I still had clear memories of our 2011 race to Cherbourg when we did not manage our race well at the end and lost our anchor. Therefore I set a course which was somewhat extreme. We were sailing two days after full moon so we could expect (again) a tide of 3,5 to 4 knots outside Cherbourg. At a certain moment we believed that my course was too extreme so we gave some height away in favour of speed. Wrong, because the wind died and we would end at the wrong end of buoy CH1 outside of Cherbourg.

I could see on AIS many boats struggling to find wind around CH1. What I could not possibly know is that there was no buoy CH1 and that these boats were simply looking for the buoy. The first one was Tonnerre de Breskens. One can see that AIS is not giving only good information resp. that the interpretation is not right all the time.

Because we would pass the buoy on the wrong side after all, with the tide coming up to 4 knots and the wind dying, we did an experiment and that was to make a tack in the wrong direction. Deckman gave very strange indications as to the result of our next tack and I could simply not find the answers. The experiment was fabulous since we lost speed in the wrong direction and would pass the buoy at the right side, though at a very slow speed over the ground of perhaps less than 1 knot.

When we arrived at buoy CH1 we have seen several boats cruising around to look for the buoy (which appeared later on not to be there), but Winsome was confident in the data on board and gave a wide berth to the coordinates of CH1. We did not loose a minute there. After all RORC is nowadays using virtual waypoints so my conclusion was that we would be entitled to round that buoy position. I remembered that we had 6-7 years ago the same problem with buoy Areva, taken away by Green Peace on the day of our race (again the Channel Race), and all boats rounded simply here position. Later on RORC confirmed that was a correct procedure.

The rest of the the race was simple, just straight to Bembridge Ledge under spinnaker I with winds of less than 10 knots. Again we got Exilir and Courrier Vintage in sight but only Courrier Vintage managed to pass us just prior to No Man’s Land Fort. Both boats sailed anyhow under IRC3 Class so no competition for us in Class.

End good, all good. Winsome became 1st in IRC4 Class resp. 2nd overall.

Now in Cowes we have got not so good news, today. When the boat was lifted at Medina Yard to have her underwater hull cleaned, we found damages on the keel and problems with the rudder farings. It becomes far too complicated to explain these two problems in a nut shell. Fact is that 10 minutes after Winsome was put into a craddle, Leen started working on the rudder and other people around started to work on the keel problem.

Here below some photographs of what is happening right now.





Post by Harry Heijst | August 6, 2012 |