Race no 5 2018-08-29
Yet another light wind forecast but this week the wind due to fill in later. It was great to see Madam Wen back in the group after a busy August.
Circling round the moored boats in preparation for the start the six yachts were preparing for a downwind leg on a basic course set by the OOD Wendy, Clipera (s), Penrhos (p) and Finish. Incantation was first off with Flair in hot pursuit with her spinnaker already flying. Rhumbull was in 3rd place as she stayed out towards the breakwater with her asymmetric spinnaker on a broad reach. As she tacked and headed back on starboard tack there was some close sailing with Flair, on a dead run, having just overtaken Incantation to port needing to bear away to starboard, thus gybing, to avoid a collision with Rhumbull, forcing Incantation, now flying her spinnaker, to also gybe. Once clear to turn round Rhumbull’s stern Flair gybed back but that completely blanketed Rhumbull’s sails and in the very light winds all this action was fairly tense with a deal of shouting!
Once successfully past this danger point Rhumbull continued on her 120° wind angle across towards the moorings while Flair and Incantation continued on their dead downwind course directly to Clipera.
As Rhumbull gybed and sailed back on port tack she was just astern of Flair who had pulled out a reasonable lead over Incantation and Madam Wen as they passed the Aluminium Jetty. The duel continued with Rhumbull continuing to tack down wind but Flair remained ahead as the two yachts reached Clipera. Incantation was third at the mark with Madam Wen fourth and Vision and Hellhound bringing up the rear.
The wind was very patch and light as the yachts struggled down to Penrhos with Rhumbull taking a deeper line with her asymmetric and Flair on her light wind genoa but Flair still had the advantage at Penrhos. Flair was unsure of the direction to take Penrhos, the problem with being in the lead and not having written the course down, so when she saw Rhumbull take the mark to port she started to re-round the mark. At this time Incantation asked for clarity on the course from the OOD; this created consternation in the post race discussions on the criteria for “outside assistance”.
Shortly after the leaders had rounded Penrhos Hellhound called in to retire.
Due to this error by Flair Rhumbull now had a significant lead as they headed on a reach back to the harbour with Incantation closing significantly the gap to Flair; however once Flair had regained composure her progress in the building breeze was rapid overhauling Rhumbull as they reached the Aluminium Jetty. Now with a beat to the finish Flair retained her lead and was first over the water with a 2 minute and 3 second gap to Rhumbull.
The August 2018 series results end up with Rhumbull leading the pack in both the NHC and IRC classes with Incantation second and Flair third in the NHC
Race no 4 2018-08-22
As the yachts prepared for the start the wind was dropping, showing the forecast to have been pretty accurate. So with very little wind the art of getting to the line was the first challenge. Flair IV, even though I say so myself, got a remarkable start right at the IDM just squeezing past as the winds varied from 4 to 5kt apparent north easterly.
Hydrology also got a good start with the other boats following on. Flair IV with her new clean hull managed to pull out a significant lead out to the Aluminium Jetty but had to tack onto starboard to avoid some small buoys near Northwestern buoy. The evening sunshine was beginning to shine through as the yachts approached the harbour entrance with Flair IV and Hydrology well clear of the remaining fleet.
Flair continued to pull away and initially found some good wind out in the bay which helped to increase her lead out towards Clipera. A call from Flair to the race officer, Wendy, reported that the wind conditions were dropping as she moved toward Clipera and Wendy’s decision was to shorten the race to just Clipera and finish. However the wind was getting so slight, 2 - 3kt apparent wind, that Flair had to make 3 tacks on her approach to Clipera with the tide making it nigh on impossible to get past. Eventually Flair made it and tried sailing with her spinnaker back to the harbour, then she tried sailing with just the spinnaker, then tried the code 0, then re-hoisted the jib in a desperate attempt to get over the finish line before sunset. Everyone else failed to get round Clipera and all retired. Flair made it as far as 100m from the knuckle but no wind filled in and she finally retired with only 5 minutes before sunset left and no possibility of getting to the finish. However frustrating it was wonderful to be back on the water on such a lovely evening once again in Holyhmed.
At Clipera there was a wonderful sight of a seal basking in the evening sunshine. She snorted at us as we made the several attempts to round the mark. [Waiting for images]
After the race I received the results for race 1 which had been missed off while I was away and I have now updated the series. The Series Results so far are shown below, as you will see there has been one missed race; Jetstream is still away representing the club in the IRC Races but Flair IV had been out for repairs both to the yacht and her owner is now back and going well. This now affects the results in that Madam Wen drops from 1st overall to 3rd with Carpe Diem on the same points in 4th and Rhumbull taking the series lead; Incantation 2nd, Vision 5th, Hydrology and Flair IV in 6th equal with 1 race to go. This just shows the importance of turning up!