Cowes Dinard St Malo Race 2016

July 12, 2016


The St Malo race is a long standing classic on Winsome’s yearly program although it was skipped in recent years. 150 nm of racing with a finish at the beautiful town of St Malo in a bay full of rocks and islands, many of them only visible at low tide and daily flooded by over 10m of tide. The course is simple: Start from the RYS line to the West and leave all rocks or islands to port. One restriction: Thou shall not enter the TSS area (traffic separation scheme) northwest of Alderney. Thus implying a rather narrow gate half way the course.IMG_20160708_140358

On board Harry, Leen, Robin, Pieter en Jan v B, Florent en Pieter K. Start on Friday with a fresh SW breeze and tide against for the the first two hours. Winsome had a good start at the pin end. First boat in class passing Hurst Castle when a big bang occurred followed by a slapping headsail. We found out the mantle of the genoa halyard had snapped at the clutch as the halyard had not been secured around the winch as it shuld. With the core still intact the halyard could be retensioned using the winch. We continued not knowing if we could use the halyard or even change the headsail. Later Pieter v B and Leen  managed to fix the halyard using needle and thread. It caused us however to delay the change from nr 3 to nr 2 considerably. We lost miles to our competitors in the process, notably Foggy Dew who we saw disappear in the twilight of the evening.


Around midnight the wind got very light and with the tide against we had to pass the ‘gate’ between Alderney and the TSS. While our main competitors choosed to go South and find a West going eddy north of Alderney we chose to go West. The idea was farther to the West the current would be less. However our decision proved not optimal and soon we had to tack south into the current. I think the idea to go West was correct but it just didn’t work out. To worsen things we didn’t take the current into account enough on course to round Guernsey, which cost us to make an extra tack.

Course and routing

From Guernsey to the finish we did well. As most of the other boats we got in a ‘parking lot’ with no wind for several hours. When we saw the beautiful  Swan 55 ‘Galiana’ hoist their spinnaker we did the same just in time for the wind to fill the sail. Under the most pleasant conditions and in good mood we finished the race to St Malo where we were greeted by Sophie and her friend Veronique. Just in time to freshen up and dress for dinner. Sophie showed us then to the best fish restaurant of St Malo. Thanks for the experience Sophie!

 No wind



We finished 5th of 29 in our class. Congratulations to Noel Racine of Foggy Dew who finished hours early in front of the competition. I was nice racing and Winsome was perfect to us. The special treat of the St Malo race is often the cruise back and so was this year. In under 19 hours we sailed back averaging 8 kts in cruising mode, accompanied by dolphins at times.  Thanks everybody, see you next time.

Groet Pieter


Post by Pieter Köhne | July 12, 2016 |


  1. You guys had a really good first beat, well done. To many unfortunate events…

    Enjoyed the slide show, which programma did you use PK?

    by boj | 15 Jul 2016 | 11:28
  2. Wel done, good achievement. You cant win the all bit the result is good 5th is top not only for the young lady but
    the on board crew. Proficiat.
    Would have liked to be there , maybe next time!

    by Alex | 17 Jul 2016 | 22:24