RORC Easter Challenge

April 5, 2015

Today, Easter Sunday, 5 April, we had the final day of the RORC Easter Challenge. Unfortunately there was no wind, so we finished early today! At 9.30am, we had a very interesting coaching session from the RORC coaches, Jim Saltonstall and the North Sails coaches. Due to the lack of wind, racing was then cancelled for the day followed by the prize giving at midday. We then brought Winsome back to her berth in East Cowes and put her to sleep for the next few weeks, to ensure that she will be rested and ready for the upcoming sailing season!

We spent a very enjoyable Easter weekend (3-5 April 2015) racing on Winsome in Cowes. The crew contained some new Winsome crew and some experienced Winsome crew. Thanks very much to Harry Heijst, Jeremy Preston, Floris Oud, Herman Lammerts van Bueren, Robin Claushuis, John Coffey, Leen Hoogmoed and Laura Dillon (i.e. myself, ha-ha) for an enjoyable Easter weekend. It was Jeremy and John’s first sailing adventure on Winsome and we would like to thank them both sincerely for a great weekend and we hope that we will see them both on board again soon!

Winsome received a lot of care from Berthon over the winter and we would like to thank Berthon for a great job. We are all very happy with Winsome and particularly the new rigging, the engine and of course the fantastic job on the rudder. The crew were not able to find any mistakes so far! Laura was particularly pleased with the work done on the rudder and the steering. The friction on the rudder is now gone and the steering feels fantastic!

Unfortunately the results were not as we would have liked but we learnt a lot from the regatta, particularly regarding crew communications, sticking to our plan and strategy, thinking further ahead and preparation before the start and during manoeuvres. Therefore we came number 5 out of 10 boats. One mistake per race, such as an early start, touching an inflatable, nearly sailing over our own spinnaker, was our average.

The key things we learn from the North Sails and RORC coaches were:
1. Pre-start preparation and time on distance to the start line
2. Choosing the most upwind buoy at the leeward gate. Making a plan and sticking to it
3. Ensuring the spinnaker tack and clew are at the same height by ensuring we raise the inboard and outboard end of the spinnaker pole when required
4. Heeling the boat to windward downwind to make Winsome go faster!

We also learnt a few spinnaker tips form John Coffey including:
1. When hoisting the spinnaker for the first time in a race, put the guy and sheet together in the spinnaker pole end, to prevent the sheet falling over the pole end in the first gybe
2. Put new clips for the spinnaker halyard near the hatch on the foredeck, to ensure that the bowman can prepare the spinnaker earlier

Thanks to all the crew for a very enjoyable Easter weekend. Particularly thanks to Jeremy Preston and John Coffey. We hope that we did not scare them and we hope to welcome them both to Winsome again soon! Well done to Berthon for looking after Winsome over the winter and thanks to RORC, Jim Saltonstall and the North Sails team for organising the regatta and for the great coaching.

This weekend was a great training weekend for Winsome and a very enjoyable way to start the 2015 sailing season! Here’s to a very enjoyable 2015 sailing season and we hope that 2015 will be a very successful and enjoyable season for Winsome and all the crew.

Good luck to Winsome in 2015!
Laura Dillon

Winsome approaching the windward mark:

Luna and Winsome in one port:

Post by Harry Heijst | April 5, 2015 |