Race 3 17th December
With a WSW wind 12kt gusting up to 18kt at the start of the race the 3 yachts were all out early for the 13:50 revised start time to avoid clashing with the ferry schedule. Lily got a bit out of place in the melee around the Porth Y Felin moorings and started behind the two J’s but got a reasonably good spinnaker hoist taking advantage of the dead downwind leg out of the harbour. The two J’s bore away to facilitate their asymmetrics but with the winds gusting as the racers approached the Aluminium Jetty they all suffered broaches with Lily heading horribly close to the jetty and still on starboard pole! At the very last minute Lily’s crew managed to release the pole and drop the spinnaker but, having just got back to within spitting distance of the other two yachts, lost a lot of time in the subsequent broach.
The two J’s managed to keep their asymmetrics flying for the leg to Bolivar but as it was a very tight reach Lily wasn’t able to hoist and sailed on just jib and main. Gradually Lily pulled in on Just Enough as she broached again to place Lily closely behind as they rounded Bolivar.
On the leg to Clipera Just Jay and Just Enough held a higher line than Lily but the gap continued to close with Lily right on Just Enough’s transom as they headed down from Clipera to Penrhos.
The waters around Penrhos are now affected by a considerable number of unmarked lobster pots which are very difficult to see.
Lily still not quite able to overtake until the fetch on the way back to the Aluminium Jetty. Just Jay was by now well ahead over the water and held her course on starboard deep into the harbour to get a single tack to the finish. Lily followed but Just Enough tried tacking twice to try and get an advantage but the order over the water remained Just Jay, Lily and then Just Enough.
The prize for the best broach this week went to Lily. Just Jay and Just Enough were very close on the corrected times on IRC Handicap.
Race 2 Sunday 10th December
After all the warning about adverse weather conditions Lily’s crew members from the Manchester area made it in good time for the start.
With only 3 yachts out this race and a moderate ENE wind an agreement on a course was very straight forward, Bolivar, Meath, Bolivar and back into the harbour for the finish. After checking with Holyhead Port control we were advised of Irish Ferries leaving at 14:10 and we felt that the yachts would be clear by then. However with the wind veering to the East by a few degrees we were slower out of the harbour than intended doing our best to clear the TSL before affecting the ferry. Our appreciation to the Ferry Skipper for allowing us to clear her track before she cut back towards the West behind us.
Just Jay had a good lead by the end of the Aluminium Jetty with Lily managing to regain second place as the yachts left the harbour. The leg to Bolivar was a tight beat on starboard with a gentle swell and winds gusting from 12 to 18kt. Once round Bolivar the leg back to Meath was a tight reach which suited the asymmetrics but Lily managed a good spinnaker deployment and at Meath a good douse to head back to Bolivar. Just Jay was performing very well on the beat and had a substantial lead the second time round Bolivar. Lily managed to pull out a good gap from Just Enough but again on the leg back from Bolivar Just Enough managed to reduces the gap as they sailed back into the harbour gaining sufficiently to take 2nd place on handicap only 1 minute and 39 seconds behind in the IRC results.
To avoid the clash with the ferries we are bringing forward the start in future to 13:50 to run between the two ferry departures.
So yet another great sailing event at Holymed… Photos to follow.
Lily's track for this race.
Race 1 Sunday 3rd December
The turnout for the first of the December Series was lower than expected with Just Enough and Flying Dragon not available, or short on crew. With Pipedreamer, Just Jay and Lily forming up for the start which we delayed from the original proposal of 11:00 to 11:05. This was a sound move as we then missed the arrival of the ferry as the fleet approached the end of the harbour wall.
All three yachts made a good start with Lily closest to the wall, Pipedreamer to leeward and Just Jay in the lead. The course to the first mark, Langdon Ridge was a beat to windward suiting Just Jay but Lily with was making much better progress to windward than normal keeping on the same track, well to windward of Pipedreamer VI. As the yachts moved further North the tide race got stronger and stronger on the approach to the buoy; Just Jay tacked early but Lily and Pipedreamer held on longer on port tack. Lily was the second to tack but she like Just Jay had tacked too early so they both had to tack again back onto port but well to the East of the mark. The yachts were doing a “ferry glide” to get from the East side of the buoy to leave the buoy to starboard. The current and waves at the buoy were pretty difficult for the helmsmen to cope with but all managed to round and set course for Bolivar.
Just Jay, well ahead after rounding Langdon Ridge, gybed and sailed South while Lily and Pipedreamer maintained a port tack; this was a close reach which suited Pipedreamer’s asymmetric spinnaker but not Lily’s although by the time the yachts reached the second mark Just Jay had the lead with Lily ahead of Pipedreamer. After a gybe at Bolivar Lily attempted to maintain her spinnaker on the starboard lay line to Clipera but it was too tight and she had to douse the kite and re-set it after Clipera giving Pipedreamer the opportunity to catch Lily and they sailed side by side until Lily got her spinnaker pulling blanketing Pipedreamer as she cut across her bow and sailed deeper towards Penrhos. Just Jay had a substantial lead on rounding Penrhos and Lily lost out at the mark to Pipedreamer as she doused her spinnaker.
Just Jay continued North towards Clipera believing it to be a mark of the course; but Pipedreamer knew better and tacked back to track towards the Aluminium Jetty to head for thefinish. Lily held on for a short while then tacked to follow. Just Jay rounded Clipera and headed home but retired as she was by now well behind; usually this drama was reserved for Lily!
At the finish Lily was just 1minute 40 seconds behind Pipedreamer over the line but takes the first race of the December series on IRC Handicap by 6 seconds! How close is that!