Ups and downs the WINSOME way

August 11, 2012

After two days of practice we felt confident. Confident ourselves, confident in the sail wardrobe and confident in the blue Lady WINSOME.

An easterly 20kts breeze, a little gusty, was blowing over the Solent. We watched all the starts before us, and were again confident that we should go for the port end of the starting line. The tide was pushing us towards the windward mark in the Eastern Solent.

And then our confidence went down. Harry wasn’t sure if the start was entirely correct. FEVER and YES! ahead of us, were OCS and returned. We continued, which meant we were leading the fleet towards the first mark. Up went our confidence. A little bit too much. We crossed Ryde Middle bank with the tide in our favour, consequently we had less tide over the bank. The rest of the fleet stayed out in the Northern Channel. By the time we realized it, we could not return to the rest of the fleet, as the would mean we had to cross the Ryde Middle bank twice, tide wise not a very good idea.

Together with MONGOOSE, we got to the windward mark.

Downwind, 23 knots wind, we were overtaken by BOOMERANG, a very very quick downwind sailor. She overtook us, but broached. Mast-end in the water, keel facing the Almighty. We survived. As also MONGOOSE was having troubles, we thought we were doing fine. Confidence grew again after our tactical error on Ryde Middle Bank.

In the second beat, WINSOME was confronted with her biggest challenge. The mainsail halyard broke, and we were sailing upwind with only a Genoa II. We thought of giving up, but it is tough to abandon the race while being with the first three in the race.

I might be hard to follow, but we used the anchor line as a messenger line for the spinnaker halyard and the messenger line in the mast, to sheet in the spinnaker halyard as new mainsail halyard.

(If you cannot follow, do not bother, half of the crew on WINSOME couldn’t either).

After 25 mins, we were back in full racing mode. It turned out we hadn’t lost much on the others. We were still 5th boat on the water.

In the last two runs towards the finish (and the fetch), MONGOOSE made two Chinese gybes, so we came 4th on the water, 5th on corrected time.

A 5th place with which we are extremely happy. We survived under difficult circumstances and we did not give up.

We’ve learned from our mistakes, so let’s see what’s up for tomorrow!



Post by Boj | August 11, 2012 |