Berthon and RORC Cervantes Race and what next

May 9, 2014

On Wednesday 30th of April, Leen, Herman and myself took delivery of Winsome at Berthon Boat Company at Lymington.

The boat looked fine, but we encountered a lot of problems right away. Without going too much into details I just mention a few. The boat was delivered without name on the sides and with a wrongly placed name on the transom. The Mainsail car-battens in the mast were placed upside down. No water pressure. No heel-lift line for our spi-pole. Tuff-Luff placed incorrectly. Iridium phone and pc not working (this was no fault by Berthon, just the delay in delivery caused we had no chance to discover that at an earlier stage). In short we did not enjoy the usual Berthon quality to which we did become so used in the last years.

Leen started working right away to correct matters as much as possible. It was a race against the clock and we barely made it until the start of the race on Saturday 3rd of May.

Below the result of the names fixed by Hugh Dudley.

photo 2

In the course of Friday the rest of the crew i.e. Renze, Wout, Jan van Balkom and Boj arrived. On Saturday morning Wouter Verbraak joined us and we had the chance to sail for about one hour together, prior to the start of IRC Classes 3-4 at 0900 UTC.

We started with Wout on the helm and Wouter (Verbraak) observing what we did. On basis of the weather forecast based upon the Navimail WX program, introduced by Wouter, we could say right away that this was a big improvement compared to the Ugrib files we used until that moment. The Navimail program, which is practically used by all French navigators, is 100 times better than the weather predictions we had so far. This will be the way for us in 2014. It looks like we have been sailing with a Middle age WX program until now.

At our start we had only 9 knots TWS, coming from 080 degrees.

After we passed the Forts we had to turn on the engine from 10:59:30 to 10:59:58 UTS [i.e. for 23 seconds] to avoid a fast running bulker called NORDIC FREEDOM, giving us a disadvantage since we headed on engine to the East. Of course I have declared this in the Crew Declaration for the RORC.

Shortly after that our pc on board stopped working. The rest of the navigation was done on a paper chart with good assistance of my iPad resp. Navionics for UK-Holland. It worked amazingly well and I could observe an undepth close to Bembridge Ledge with water of only 2 meters. Same thing happened after the finish where was also an undepth of 2 meters.

The wind dropped to 7 knots TWS, backed to 045 degrees.

At that time Wouter Verbraak was more or less in charge of all tactics and weather predictions. He used his own pc but without any connection as a result of a non working Iridium, we could not get another Navimail WX prediction until we came closer to the French coast.

The weather stayed dry but it was cold outside, especially in the nights to follow.

Once we passed the finish, the RORC scores gave us a 1st place but we dropped quickly to 3rd whilst at a later moment also ADRENALINE passed us. She finished 5 minutes behind us but passed on rating. Our result was a 5th place in IRC-4 Class but also a 5th place in IRC Overall, so obviously race giving advantage to slow boats.

Sailing with Wouter [I do not wish to run the risk that Wout believes he is not welcome anymore, on the contrary] was a pleasure and revelation. He showed me how to work with Navimail and with Expedition.

Last night here at my home we gathered i.e. Wouter, Wout, Boj, Floris (Le chef de cuisine!), Pieter and myself and we decided to for the following actions:

1. buy a new Panasonic Tough-book CF53

2. buy new software Expedition, to replace Deckman. I will start using both at the same time and with Pieter K on board on the next course i.e. the RORC Myth of Malham Race starting Saturday 24th of April, there cannot be any serious problem and am quite happy that Pieter K is exactly on board then

3. Try to repair the Iridium phone which is already in the good hands of Jan van Balkom resp. Cornelis Jongkind.

As said sailing with Wouter Verbraak was not only a pleasure but also very useful. We drained his brains and he told us readily what he knew and how we would tackle any tactical problem. After the race he has given us a summary of his findings. I will share this with the crew not having been on board shortly.

In the next weeks WINSOME must be put back in her usual racing shape and all work has been ordered to do that. Cornelis Jongkind, Berthon, Mac, Leen, Hugh Dudley are working to get the boat in order. At a later stage we may need some assistance of Wroath.

The next race will be the RORC Myth of Malham Race starting Saturday 24th of May, distance 230 Nm. Crew: Leen, Paul, Reima, Floris, Jan vB, Florent, Pieter K, Harry = 8.

All going well we will be equipped with a new pc, Navimail WX, Expedition to be under control of Pieter K.

Credit Beken of Cowes


Post by Harry Heijst | May 9, 2014 |