Winsome on the Rocks

August 8, 2018

Monday must be “Winsome on the Rocks” Day. You may have heard of the famous incident of “Jameson on the Rocks”, which was a famous Irish sailing boat that ended up on the Gurnard Ledge rocks during the Admiral’s Cup in 1993 – – well now we are not quite as famous but we certainly had a lot of spectators for our grounding on the rocks just off the RYS, 1.5 mins after the start on the 3rdrace in Lendy Cowes Week 2018.


We had a great start right in beside the RYS and very close to the shore. The tide was against us very strongly, so being in by the shore was very beneficial. Albeit we had planned to start further away from the land in a safer position, which in handsight may have been the safer thing to do. Almost 10 boats form our class were OCS, approx..5 went back and 5 didn’t realize they were OCS. We were behind the line but these OCS boats were all just to windward of us. We very quickly called for “water to tack” and eventually the boats tacked and we were clear! Things were looking good, as we were in the shallow water, in by the beach and out of the tide. More boats began to come across on starboard and we called for water on the land, as there was no room for us to tack back again. The boats kept coming and when Alaris got within c. 3 feet of us, Laura decided she needed to take avoiding action to prevent a collision and to prevent Winsome getting T-Boned by Alaris, despite the fact that we were in the right. Laura spun the boat into a tack to try and prevent the boats hitting, a second later Alaris tacked and when it was clear we would not hit, Laura spun the helm back, to try and get back onto the port tack and away from the land, as we knew we were close to the shallow water. We trimmed our sails back in and after 2 boats, we unfortunately hit ground. We hit the rocks and Winsome’s keel was stuck on the rocks. We all immediately went to the Starboard side of the boat to try and heel the boat over and to try and ensure we could get the boat off the rocks. Eventually we were able to turn the boat downwind onto a run and a combination of letting the sails out and heeling the boat to starboard, meant that after 5 mins we were able to move again. This was a traumatic experience but the crew kept positive and we discussed that the keel should be fine and we continued racing!

A Track:


We had a long 2 hour beat up the coast, where we tried to stay in close to the island shore for most of the race (although not as close as we had done after the start!). We again, had a small touch on the sand at Gurnard Ledge but thankfully no other incidents of touching the bottom today! We fetched across to the Northern shore and then beat up the mainland shore for another few miles, followed by a nice spinnaker run, another beat up the Northern shore and a final run with the spinnaker down around Dick Johnson mark. They decided to shorten the course and finish us at the Dick Johnson mark instead of at the usual RYS finishing line.

Swuzzlebubble won the race over the water and on handicap but unfortunately they only finished at 6.12pm. The time limit for racing is 6pm, so there are currently protests and discussions ongoing as to whether this is a valid race or not.


We are hoping for a less eventful and better day tomorrow. But congrats to the whole Winsome crew for recovering so well and finishing a very respectable 5thplace in the race today. Drinks are on Joost D tomorrow after racing, as he said he would pay £1 for every boat we passed and we passed all but 3 of the boats in the fleet and finished 4thon the water. Apart from hitting the ground, this was a glorious day of sailing in 8-12 knots of wind and great sunshine!



Post by Boj | August 8, 2018 |