Race #5 30th August
For the last race of the August Wednesday evening race the weather was ideal with a steady 8 to 10kt south westerly breeze and sunshine.
Photo courtesy of Katy
From the start Lily and Carpe Diem lead the field on the breakwater side of the start line, Carpe Diem flying her kite from the approach to the start keeping up with Lily until Lily’s spinnaker hoist was complete. At the harbour entrance it was Lily leading the field with Just Enough to windward as they started the dead downwind leg to Bolivar. Just Enough’s asymmetric was pulling well but not able to sail as deep as Lily and the other following yachts all gybed sailing on port tack against
the current. The yachts made a great spectacle with their colourful spinnakers in the evening sunshine.
At Bolvar Lily was first to round followed closely by Just Enough with Houdini ahead of Madam Wen and Pipedreamer, Carpe Diem and bringing up the rear, Incantation. On the beat down to Clipera Lily tacked early onto port while Just Enough held her starboard tack down to the layline to the mark. Houdini, Madam Wen and Pipedreamer were all grouped together following Lily’s line as she made the perfect layline to Penrhos ensuring she left Clipera to seaward. This was Lily’s first experience sailing upwind with her new headsail and the crew were busy battling to get the fairlead settings for the best upwind performance. As they approached Penrhos Just Enough rounded second after Lily but with a quicker spinnaker hoist and the advantage going with the asymmetric on the broad reach back to Clipera she edged ahead calling for water from Lily at the mark. The chase was now on with Houdini, Madam Wen and Pipedreamer slowly catching Lily as she made more adjustments to the headsail settings. From the Aluminium Jetty Lily’s course was as tight to windward as she could go just clearing the knuckle and sailing close to the wall up to the finish line. Just Enough had tacked away from the wall before the knuckle and had an easier line to the finish. Houdini followed Lily even closer to the harbour wall but didn’t manage to catch her with Madam Wen and Pipedreamer tacking away to miss the knuckle.
As dusk came Wendy, from her place on the quarterdeck was struggling to she which yacht was which as they crossed the finish line reminding us that next week’s race will start at the earlier time of 18:00. Once again a fantastic and very competitive evening of yachting in Holyhead.
Congratulations to Just Enough who took first place in both the IRC and NHC series.
Race #4 23rd August
Race 3 scheduled for 16th August was cancelled due to high winds, we're not having the best of weather this August! However for Race 4 the steady SW f4 - f5 provided ideal conditions. Due to an incident on the A55, which prevented crew members arriving in time, the race start was delayed by the OOD Wendy to 18:45. We welcome back Pipedreamer VI from their Fastnet exploits! Once the 8 yachts entering the race were crewed up and ready for the start it seemed as though there was generally a smaller crew element this week with Pipedreamer and Lily down to 3.
Lily close to the harbour wall got the best start and although not able, with her reduced crew, to fly her spinnaker, lead from the start to the entrance to the harbour where Just Enough, overtook her, flying her kite to leeward. Houdini was close on Lily's heel and with her spinnaker flying got the better of Lily on the dead downwind leg to Bolivar. Lily had retaken 2nd place from Just Enough as they rounded Bolivar but as she went to windward she had a problem with the headsail which meant a period of down time to fix. This gave Just Enough and Pipedreamer the opportunity to overtake and establish a significant gap back to Lily, with, of course Houdini by now way out in the lead. Carpe Diem also was going well at this stage and almost caught Lily before she got going again.
Course 3 had been selected which was a great choice for the wind and tidal conditions with strong currents flowing west to east across the leg from Bolivar to round Clipera, making decisions on when to tack of great significance. Houdini held onto her starboard tack almost to the breakwater but Pipedreamer tacked earlier just clearing Clipera, which although not a mark of the course is covered by the sailing instructions as a bouy to be passed to seaward unless a specific mark of the course.
Pipedreamer seemed to get the better of the leg down to Penrhos and both Houdini and Pipedreamer were in close quarters as they approached the Penrhos buoy with Houdini keeping the lead. Just Enough had followed Houdini and was now some distance off Pipedreamer. By this time Incantation and Vision had both retired and Lily was pulling away from Carpe Diem as the fleet ran downwind back to Clipera and the final beat back to the finish saw the order remain the same.
A fabulous sunset could be seen as the yachts ran along the breakwater with the sun setting below the cloud cover and casting a bright red glow everywhere. Another great evening's racing at Holyhead Sailing Club. As usual the racers would like to thank Wendy and Sue for the start and recording the timings.
Race #2 9th August
A stiff northerly wind greeted the 8 yachts as they prepared for the start. With Craig setting the non standard course of Clipera, Penrhos, Meath, Penrhos, Meath and finish the skippers checked and rechecked the course over channel 37... From the start the wind conditions were very gusty causing overpowering and then lulls making the yachts, in close proximity, to slew about. Soon after the start Houdini lead from Madam Wen with Lily and Just Enough swapping places.
By Clipera Just Enough had moved ahhead of Lily with Flying Dragon racing past but having trouble turning down wind after the buoy.
A dead run in these wind conditions mean that none of the skippers chose to fly their spinnakers with all the yachts goose winged down to the Penrhos mark. The windward leg provided more advantage for Houdini as she managed to battle with Madam Wen for the lead. The positions stayed the same over the water as the yachts completed their second passage from Meath to Penrhos. With the Epsilon leaving the dock as the leading yachts headed from Meath to the finish line Incantation was crossing the traffic lane towards Meath and Lily crossing from Meath to the breakwater, it was all looking too close for comfort!
Flying Dragon flew in over the finish line about 4 minutes ahead of Madam Wen who had crept ahead of Houdini. A good blustery evening race in brilliant sunshine. At the end of this second race the leader board shows Madam Wen in first place in the series with Incantation in second but due to an issue over elapsed time for last week's results this may well change.
Apologies about the results messup in the club house.... here are the real results... Sorry Madam Wen!
Race #1 2nd August
Following the last race in July when we encountered a pretty violent storm several yachts were missing from the start line. As I was also unable to be at the club on the night and no report was received on the first race in this series there is little I can say appart from show the result. The outstanding issue on the time recorded for Incantation has now been resolved.