RORC Myth of Malham Race, start 27th of May 2023 to Eddystone Light House and back or 235 Nm.

June 8, 2023

Crew Leen, Dirk-Jan, Jan and Pieter van Balkom, Robin, Peter Morton, Lex and myself.

IRC Classes 3-4 starting together at 07:00 UTC.

There was not much wind so we could start on a Spinnaker 1. Getting closer to Hurst Spit, we were in a good position of 1st–3rd place in Classes IRC 3-4 but “the other Peter Morton” had passed us already in his new monster called Notorious at Hurst Castle. The newly formed banks SW of Hurst Castle did not cause any problems, we stayed rather close to the buoy Sconce. “Our Peter Morton’s” boat Scherzo sailed by one of his sons in law was only 0,5 Nm behind us”

On our way to Bill of Portland, we did not make a lot of speed with a course that was no different to any of the other boats. First choice was to stay very close to the coast and pass St Alban Head at the closest distance and stay along the coast, or to stay far away from Bill of Portland. Expedition suggested the first option, but of all the boats it was only With Alacrity who took this option. Though With Alacrity looked doing very well in the beginning, she had to sail after passing Bill of Portland a SW course to pick up the track to Start Point. That was very expensive for her, never did any better speed than 2 to 3 knots.

Then we got the Casquets TSS as an obstacle, of which I had to calibrate, in accordance with the RORC Sailing Instructions, all four co-ordinates used in the Fastnet 2021. Going South of the TSS would make our route to Eddystone Lighthouse 18 Nm longer, but on the screen the AIS positions of Pintia and Panta Negra showed they took this option. Pintia won her Class (IRC-1,) Panta Negra 8th.

To round Eddystone Lighthouse, I asked Leen to stay in between the small rock just East of the Light House, but I overlooked the fact that we lost the wind as a consequence and finally it became a narrow escape with probably no more than 5 meters between the rocks (on either side). I felt bad, but luck was on our side. Not something to ever repeat!

Our position in the field was still okay and the leading group of in our class consisted of Cora, Jybe Talking, Jago, Pilatypus (?!?), Jangada and Mojo Risin was still around us. Wind 20-27 knots.

This was half way the race. Again we had to negotiate the Casquets TSS but a very unlucky sail change from G-2 to G-3 made an end to my expectation to get a podium place. The very last part of the race from 1A Peveril Ledge into the Christchurch Bay to 1K North Head was quite similar to our route in the Guignand Bowl Race. The wind had meantime increased to 27 knots

The race lasted unexpectedly long that we suddenly faced a problem to reach our KLM flight from Southampton on Monday at 5pm so right after the finish, we put on the engine to get home as soon as possible.

On the Solent we met a Dutch submarine so we hurried to bring our KNZ&RV flag out.

We did of course not foresee that at Gurnard the engine stopped and we had to continue on our main and G-3 whilst we asked assistance from RYS to join us to East Cowes Marina. First of all they picked DJZ up to pick up LUNA, and at the same time they joined us on the Medina with their RYS RIB. With Commander Leen on the wheel we sailed with our main and G-3 on the Medina with a strong tide into the river. Then Leen made an  incredible manoeuvre by first taken taking away G-3 close to East Cowes Marina, then taking away our Main whilst turning 180 degrees into the tide and the area of the berths, just having the right speed, if not a little bit too much at that moment. Pieter was able to jump from the forepeak onto the pontoon, wherafter Pieter and Jan could stop the boat from colliding with the pier or boats on either side in their berths. It was our best manoeuvre in in this race, but unfortunately it didn’t add anything to our result, in which we became 6th in our class, after Jago, Cora, Jangada, Jybe Talkin and Mojo Risin. Nearly the same result as the RORC Guignand Bowl Race where we scored 5th after Cora, Mojo Risin, Jetpack and Jago.

We managed to get our flight but Jan and Pieter van Balkom, Lex and Robin stayed until the next day. “Fortunately” KLM cancelled their tuesday flight so Jan had a lot of time to organize the repair of the Perkins engine by engaging Paul Dunstan of Sea-Tek.

End good, all good.

Our next race will be the ISC Round the Island Race on Saturday 1st of July with Laura on the helm.

Post by Harry Heijst | June 8, 2023 |

1 Comment

  1. Greetings from With Alacrity! I have just come across your excellent blog and wanted to say how pleased we are to be competing against the mighty Winsome in another Fastnet campaign! It may interest you to know we saw the inshore route as being a good choice for a slower boat, with the possibility of doing very well if the wind had filled in from the North at midnight as some of the forecasts suggested. As it happened we were becalmed from 10pm for 5 hours, but still think we reached Eddystone in the top 2 or 3 in class 3&4 on handicap. The return trip was a different matter and even more tricky than the routing out!

    by Chris Choules | 13 Jun 2023 | 11:48