Slippery Wednesday – A Game of Snakes and Ladders

August 10, 2016

Today, was a day of ups and downs, like a game of snakes and ladders!

The day started great with the Winsome crew getting out on the water nice and early and having lots of preparation time. We pinged the position of the starting line, checked the bias on the line, sailed upwind a number of times and checked our upwind numbers, did some spinnaker hoists and checked all the downwind numbers. We noticed the wind was very shifty and also very patchy (some areas had lots of wind 1 minute and then none a few minutes later). We watched 4 different classes of boats start before us and we made a plan to start on the right hand-side of the starting line and then to stay near the right of the course upwind, as there looked to be more wind.

Unfortunately, we a had a minor incident on the start, where another boat pushed us onto the starting committee boat. Thankfully, Winsome and everyone was fine but we decided to take a penalty as we were not sure if we were in the right (actually at the time, we thought we may have been in the wrong). In hindsight, after the race, we spoke to the protest committee and they confirmed that we should not have taken a penalty and that we were indeed correct, as under rule 16.1 another boat is not allowed to force you to hit the committee boat, if they have given you room to freely sail between them and the committee boat. However, we still had a 1% penalty, as once you take the penalty, you cannot retract it.

After the start, we decided to stick to our plan and sail to the right hand-side of the beat. Unfortunately, this did not go to plan! The wind shifted left and a lot more wind filled in from the left! This left us with only 5 boats behind us at the windward mark – a position in the fleet which we had not seen yet in this regatta and will hopefully not see again!

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The crew stayed very positive and we began to claw our way back up the fleet. We had a good run but the wind continued to decline and on the next beat the wind decreased entirely. The wind filled from the left again on this beat and we lost to some boats on the left but gained on the boats on the right. The tide was very strong and the wind was getting lighter as we rounded the windward mark for a very long run (4.2 miles). Initially, we headed to the island side but then decided to gybe back to stay in the stronger tide. Again the wind filled from the left, island side and the boats which continued along the island stayed in the wind. We sailed into an area with no wind and drifted for about 10 minutes – at one point we had 0.00 boat speed, lost all steerage and ended up pointing in the exact wrong direction! Thankfully we managed to catch the wind and began moving again and made it down the 4.2 miles (with the help of lots of tide) to the next mark. We gybed around this mark and had a tight reach. Hidde spotted a very large container ship, which we just passed in front of! We dropped the spinnaker, in order to get across in front of the ship and the pilot boat came up to us and confirmed that the ship would pass behind us! Well done Hidde on spotting the ship! We rounded the next mark and thought we still had a long race ahead of us! But then we saw a shortened course flag at the next mark and realised that the race would be finished at the next mark.

We had hoped that the race would continue so that we could have time to improve our position or even better, that the wind would die completely and the race would be abandoned but neither happened. We finished the race with a disappointing 15th position.

We all had an enjoyable day’s sailing, despite the poor result and we remain very optimistic for the next 2 days! Hopefully Winsome will return to winning ways for the next 2 days and well sailed to all the Winsome crew today.

This evening, we had a lovely evening at the RORC Cocktail Party at the RORC Corinthian. At the party, we received multiple compliments about how well Winsome looks on the water and how well sailed the boat is every year.

Here is a nice photo of the Winsome crew at the RORC Cocktail Party.

Laura Dillon

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Post by Boj | August 10, 2016 |

1 Comment

  1. After the race from Thursday!

    Awesome,that’s the way to do it!

    Love and greetings,Mieke

    by Mieke | 11 Aug 2016 | 19:03