2019-05-26 Race #4
A change from recent wind conditions with a gusty westerly blowing out of the harbour the course was set for a downwind start turning at the spit mark to sail up north to Langdon Ridge for the first time this season. The start time of 14:10 is working well as the fleet follow the Irish Ferry out of the harbour. Start today was provided by Jetstream as Flair IV had a few issues getting prepared and late arrival of crew.
4 yachts were out for the event today
- Flair IV
The start, on a starboard broad reach, became a little exciting as the leading yachts approached the end of the breakwater with Flair broaching close to the wall. After regaining control she continued out of the harbour and then switched to her no 3 headsail in the light of the forecast. However Jetstream made good progress for a while on her asymmetric spinnaker on the way out to Meath.
Rounding Meath to port it was then a beat to Langdon Ridge with the wind dropping which didn’t suit Flair having sent some of her sail inventory to Boatshed for repair last week. Jetstream with 9 on board continued to draw away but was seen to struggle as she approached Langdon with the mid tide current at the buoy its usual force to recon with. Eventually Jetstream rounded the mark with Flair having cut the margin a little but still a long way behind.
Hellhound, who had had a late start and was sailing single handed, and Shearwater, having an issue with her jib, both retired on the leg to Langdon so just Jetstream and Flair remained in the race back into the harbour via Bolivar.
Messages from sion in his new job warned the yachts in the area to keep clear as HMS St Alban was guided out of the berth she had taken for the Armed Forces Day on the previous day. Jetstream cleared the area early enough not to have to change course but not so for Flair who had to alter course, tack twice to be able to get to the finish.
The winner of the series for both the IRC and the NHC Classes is Jetstream with Flair in second and Shearwater in third
2019-05-19 Race #3
The weather forecast for the day was that the light Westerly winds would die off during the afternoon and then freshen slightly later. As it happens the wind at the moorings certainly seemed to be from a Westerly direction and around 5 to 6kt with glorious sunshine as the yachts prepared for the race. Only 3 yachts turned out, Jetstream, Shearwater and Flair IV. Flair was introducing two prospective crewing members one of whom is a foiling dinghy sailor!
With the new start line, now shown on the Course Card on the website, much closer to the harbour entrance it was decided that the start scheduled for 14:05 should be postponed to 14:10 to avoid the Irish Ferry due to leave at 14:10. Many thanks to Jim Shuttler and the team for moving the transit pole to suit the new start line.
With a trailing light wind and the set of the first leg of the course to Bolivar the skippers had difficult choices on what headsails to fly. Jetstream and Shearwater opting for lightweight spinnakers and Flair IV making a late and somewhat troublesome change to her spinnaker too. This allowed Jetstream to run away with the lead and made excellent progress to Bolivar although it was tight for her then to overcome the tide in the light winds which was running in a ENE direction at the mark. Disappointingly for Flair IV Jetstream was at least a quarter of the way back to Clipera, the second mark of the course, before she got to Bolivar with Shearwater some way behind. After rounding the mark Flair’s VMG to Clipera dropped to almost nothing as she headed against the tide and it was sometime before she cleared this area allowing Jetstream to increase her lead still further. The wind in the middle of the bay was now even lighter, as predicted, but Jetstream had made good progress now rounding Clipera to head for Penrhos. There were concerns over the depth of water at the mark but it was decided not to shorten the course and check as the yachts approached the mark. Jetstream cleared it without problems but Flair recorded 1.1m below her keel at 15:45 [Low water Holyhead 17:33 ht 0.55] confirming that the buoy is not in deep enough water for use at low water springs, its position was some 13m closer to the beach than last time we rounded the buoy showing the extent of the swing under lower water conditions.
With all the yachts safely round Penrhos the gentle sail back into the harbour was a very slow passage ending up with a requirement to tack a couple of times to cross the new start line as it ran parallel with a tight beat on starboard tack.
What can I say apart from just another brilliant day sailing at Holyhead with lots of other HSC yachts out enjoying the wonderful weather. After the race crews from Shearwater and Flair IV chatted about how to get more people involved in the IRC sailing and attracting more crew to join in the racing. Below is the track from Flair IV, the changes in the track elements are due to the Raymarine Axiom loosing the navigation setting for the track.
Sunday May 12th Race #2
A beautiful day but the sceptics would not turn up as there seemed to be too little wind. Still 3 yachts turned out for the race and the decision was to have a rolling start from the end of the Breakwater. The start was therefore delayed until the 3 yachts were in close proximity to each other and picking up some wind near the Aluminium Jetty.
Shearwater headed the fleet out trying out a different sail but was quickly overtaken by Jetstream and then Flair IV as they headed out Bolivar. Jetstream had rigged her Code 0 before setting off unlike Flair IV, as a consequence with the wind now backing to the NW they deployed the code 0 and started to pull away very quickly. Flair IV recognised her mistake and setabout hoisting her code 0. However as usual they had some issues with halyards. With none of the crew used to rigging this sail there were a few additional problems so by the time Flair IV deployed her code 0 the distance to Jetstream was pretty substantial. The leg to Bolivar proved to be a reach so on the leg back to Clipera the code 0 was again deployed on both Jetstream and Flair IV. In the background Shearwater was trying out different settings with her jib and using the on the water time as a training session.
On the turn at Clipera the course set to Penrhos which had been laid during the week. It had a small buoy on it and it was pretty difficult to see, especially as it was some 430m further to the WSW of its original position. From Penrhos, once we had found it the course took us up to Meath. Jetstream once again showed that her code 0 was a worthy candidate and so Flair followed suit but changed to her jib as they approached Meath before turning back to re-enter the harbour. There was no way Flair could catch Jetstream in these conditions but we all had a really great sail in very sunny weather with a good 12kt breeze on a pretty flat sea.
The yachts gathered data on the location of the newly placed Penrhos mark and the data has now been updated on the page on the club website on this link: Course Card