IRC Championship. Bad things come in threes.

July 7, 2013

As a direct result of my Jules Verne 2013 trip, WINSOME  had very little attention in the entire month of June. Let us say no attention at all.

The first sign that not all would be perfectly prepared was that our helmsman Richard Klabbers had a back injury and was unable to attend to this Championship. It was meant to be the preparatory race for Cowes Week 2013. To make things worse he forgot to tell us. Secondly Leen made a double booking and had to sail a flatbottom boat in Holand.

So only just two days prior to our departure to Cowes, we (Boj and I), started to look around for a substitute of Richard. We did not find anyone in Holland. Peter Morton came up with Crauford McKeon. One of the SALVO crew members. He could not make it all three days, so we settled for two days i.e. Friday and Saturday. It soon appeared however that his son, who had a horse riding accident earlier in the week, was not recovering well and needed more TLC. This was not looking good, but we had no choice and went forward. However already at that moment it crossed my mind whether we should race at all.

Floris, Sarai and myself took the Thursday morning flight of FlyBe to Southampton in order to prepare WINSOME for the races.

We discovered right away that the hull of WINSOME was looking extremely dirty and slimy. Right away we started to look for a yard to give her a good rub and clean, necessary to sail competitive. Thursday the tide was wrong for King’s Yard, no space at Cowes Yacht Haven. So we proposed to King’s Yard to lift her on Friday morning, but their lift did not work anymore after  we talked the first time. Cowes Yacht Haven could not do it either Friday morning.

Again we had no choice so we would sail with a dirty, slimy bottom.

At the very last moment Joost Heikens exchanged his pc with Pieter on board of a Dutch sailing boat with his wife Sabine to be on the mainsheet of WINSOME.

After the 1st race was postponed by two hours, we started motoring to a region just East of the Forts. A trip of two hours. Not much wind but just enough to keep WINSOME going. Crauford did well. In the 1st and 3rd race we finished 2nd or 3rd on the water but we still had to count with our rating giving us a 4th and 5th place, 4th overall for the day.

Pieter must have realized what a silly exchange i.e. the use of a pc against borrowing us Sabine, so the verdict came about that Sabine had to take care of the childern. Sarai was prepared to give the mainsheet a try, but it must have been her 3rd time on a sailing boat. It was hard for her to understand the  myriad of instructions given to her. She did what she possibly could.

Crauford felt he had to go to his son in the hospital, so no helmsman either.

We waited for Crauford first, then we hesitated but we finally took off to the same start area the day before arriving half an hour late for the 1st start.

The 2nd start, with myself on the helm, was not bad at all. However when we came to the windward mark in a 2nd position on the water,  we could not make it and we decided to pinch. The boat was prepared for a gybe-set with no other boats in sight around us.

What we did not realize was that WINSOME came to a full stop. No wind. The other boats rounded the windward mark and we were unable to set the spinnaker anymore without giving them room. The result was an ugly  11th place, not far away from the score in the previous race (..).

On Sunday we had planned to bring WINSOME to Berthon to check the stearing gear, which did not go as smooth as in the Round the Island Race at all. Another frustration. After all there was no racing at all on the last day. It saved us four hours motoring.

WINSOME is now at Berthon Boat Yard where Floris and I will go tomorrow for discussion.

Now we are licking our wounds, thinking about the Cowes Week 2013, not too far away in time nor distance.








Post by Harry Heijst | July 7, 2013 |


  1. …………… comment………!m

    by michiel irish' stephenson | 10 Jul 2013 | 16:56
  2. I have a couple of pictures of you leaving the Solent – we were on Zerafa sailing against you at Cowes, do you have an email address I can send them to?

    Good luck on the Fastnet!

    by Mike | 12 Aug 2013 | 22:35