21 May 2019From: Purple Mist (Class 4)
So after a friendly night in Yarmouth catching up with the Joggers it was time for the race home Sunday.
The start line was crowded again and very little wind but we set off close hauled up the Solent to the first mark Quinnell, just beyond Lepe Spit. We didn’t get the best start but we were slightly more south than the rest of the fleet and this was to our advantage as this was where the wind was. As the lead boats sailed into a wind hole on the north shore before Beaulieu , we tacked back south along with Just So and Mzungu and we sailed past the leaders. For a while this position was looking very very good.
With the very last of the tide the fleet started to bunch up around Lepe spit, I’ve never been North of the South Cardinal before... but hey ho it was high water and others were closer in ... and Fortune favours the brave (The last time I said that was on RORC Cervantes and the result was the Spinnaker wrap that crashed us out of the race) . Anyway we sailed over Lepe spit with 1m under the keel... plenty of depth!
Then in a cruel twist that is racing the wind died.... and the tide strengthen.... and so the fleet went back over Lepe spit inside the cardinal. This time we had less than 1m under the keel, and the engine running in neutral just in case. Then some wind appeared so we carried on, again back over Lepe spit.
Our position was not too bad as we now set off upwind to make Prince Consort. Over to Bramble bank, again inside the buoys to get uptide of Prince consort. At this point Mzungu was past us but many boats had gone too far, caught by a wind shift so we were still ok. Also plenty of boats had retired due to the lack of wind so we knew we had already beaten a few.
In the end It was another tack to get round Prince consort which lost us a bit of time but we were headed for the end, tide whisking us along we decided to make the most and even though it was a short distance fly the S2 to the end.... what an error! The wind shifted off ahead of us off Cowes and complete died, so now we have an S2 flapping against the forestay that needed to get snuffed ASAP. The heading was not good enough to get inside the final buoy of the line so ourselves and Nimrod drifted past the line outside the outer mark of Gurnard. This was a disaster! White sails were not enough to make progress against the tide so in a slight SW breeze the S2 went up again so we could claw our way back up tide and cross the line.
Finally we made it and placed 4th out of 7 in 2H so not too bad. I’m now anxiously waiting the updated seasons points as after 3 races I think I might be second in the inshore series... which is a bit of a result given my sum total ever of round the cans races is only 5.