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RORC Cervantes Trophy Cowes – Le Havre 29th April 2006 Mostly Harmless GBR1381R
Initial planning showed that the original courses in the sailing instructions were either too long or two short. The shortest had us arriving at around 10.00pm in Le Havre.
So, it was no great surprise that an additional course was proposed to include Ocean Safety, Nab Tower, EC2 and the finish - a distance of some 140 miles.
Was this a conservative start, Tom? Or was the clock on my PC wrong? Still, it was a good start in clear air and maximum tide.
South of Ryde Bank seemed to pay…
Inside the Fort also paid… until the wind dropped…
I won’t forget the wind shifts on the leg to Bembridge Ledge. We were up, we were down, we had almost every direction. Now I know what “variable” means!
The leg out to Ocean Safety was also in flukey winds. But, we eventually spotted a line of wind offshore and went SW to find it. The rest of the leg was good, as was the next in to the Nab Tower.
One of the advantages of a course like this is that one can see the opposition. We knew we were well up in IRC1 at the Nab. So, set off to EC2 looking in very good shape…
But, the further we got, the darker it got and the lighter the wind… until our COG became the same as the tide.
Should we have tacked? Could we? With hindsight, we should have. There was clearly wind somewhere. Probably to the West. So, our track might have looked something like this…
But, that first tack out would have taken a brave man! The leg to the finish was great fun!
Did I see 12.1kts? And I think the log is under reading! But, it was a relief to finish at 11.05.26am, according to my PC.
It was a costly error during the night, although we finished with some boats who should have been a long way in front.
23 rd overall in IRC (out of 45 finishers) and 8 th in IRC1 (out of 12) seems a bit unfair. But, we were ahead of some good boats that had fared worse than us.
So, not bad overall. But, great fun. And, lots of lessons for next time…
Cowes to Cherbourg… the long way!
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