AAM CW 2014 Day 4

August 5, 2014

Today was the 4th day of Cowes week and we had a very enjoyable day of racing. Winsome was one of the first boats out to the race course today, which enabled us to sail the first beat, “ping” the windward mark and ensure that our instruments were working correctly.

Sailing the first beat was great, as it enabled us to check out the wind and notice that the wind was shifting by approximately 30 degrees in an oscillating pattern (although we didn’t manage to figure out the exact timings of the oscillations).

Boj started the day with the pink t-shirt and Joost Nijhoff finished the day with the pink t-shirt! Although Laura would have received the pink t-shirt if the first start had been allowed!

The starting line was very difficult for the J-111 and J-109  fleet which started ahead of us, as boats could only just cross the starting line on starboard, due to a large port wind shift. Most boats had to tack onto port to cross the starting line. Our first start was a similar situation and our plan was to approach from windward of the starting line and then dip below the line, behind the pack and then tack into clear air. Unfortunately Laura got too excited and approached from windward, but was a little too close to the pack and ended up being forced over the starting line by boats to leeward. Thankfully many boats were over the starting line and there was a general recall.

We were delighted that the wind shifted back 30 degrees to the right, before our 2nd start. The 2nd start was a black flag start, which meant we would be disqualified if we started early. Due to our 12th earlier in the week, it is very important that we do not have a disqualification, so we were very happy to have a 2nd chance to have a clean start (which we managed to do). The wind shifted further to the right on the first beat and there was stronger pressure on the right hand side.

Winsome started in the middle of the line but did well to negotiate our way up to the windward mark, tacking on the shifts (when we could!) and rounding the windward mark in about 7th (after having to duck some boats at the windward mark).

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After two windward leeward rounds, we enjoyed a tight fetch out to the forts. It was very nice to round the fort and get a very up close and personal view of the fort.

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However, after the fort we were not so happy! We had a 5.5 mile tight reach to the next mark. We were able to fly the spinnaker for the first half of the leg but then we had to drop the spinnaker and sail under Main and Jib for almost 3 miles. The boats with asymmetric spinnakers were able to hold their kites for the entire reach, which enabled them to extend their lead.

Winsome did well on the last beat and we all enjoyed the final tight reach to the finish line. We sailed close to Norris and close to Castle Point on the island, which gave us a lot of tidal relief against the strong tide which was running against us towards the finish line. The wind died near Castle Point, but thankfully due to Winsome’s 11 tonnes, we were able to keep momentum through the light wind and sail through the fleet and back into the wind again! We really enjoyed this final leg into the finish line.

We finished 5th today and we are now 4th overall. After racing, we had some very enjoyable Pimms on the lawn of the Royal Yacht Squadron and watched the J-70s and SB-20s finishing under spinnaker. The Winsome crew hopes that we will win tomorrow! And the question is, who will win the pink t-shirt tomorrow…


Post by Boj | August 5, 2014 |