A Pleasant Weekend of Gentle WInds

CCRC’s weekend racing was in light winds and sunshine – surprisingly pleasant for mid-October.
On Saturday we raced from Chichester to Gosport. After a short windward leg from Hard to Chi, there was a long leg to the mark “Mary Rose” when most flew downwind sails in the very light winds with speed much assisted by the tide. From there we had a challenging leg to the next mark where it was difficult to stem the tide but most managed it and the race was shortened there.
Then it was into Gosport marina where we had drinks hosted by Sycorax in their cockpit/deck and then many had fish & chips from a take-away which was also eaten in the cockpit where it was still warm enough at 9pm.
Next morning it was the race back and there was a little more wind so two windward legs were possible but also another long broad reach with many spinnakers and cruising chutes in use.
All goes to show that October can produce some super weekends for sailing.

HISC Nab and Sparkes Races

CCRC members are welcome to take part in the Hayling Island Sailing Club Nab and Sparkes races the weekend of 2/3 October. Entry is free, get details and application forms via the link.
https://hisc.co.uk/sailing/open-events/cruiser-open/

Passage Races to Hamble

This weekend’s races had some interesting challenges for participation including, for some, getting sufficient fuel to get to the boat (which prevented one entrant) or to sail (which was solved by a fuel transfer at sea!).
The forecast for Saturday for the passage to the Hamble was for hardly any wind in the morning then building a little in the afternoon. A course was set to start from Chi but the lack of wind resulted in the start being moved to outside Portsmouth. After a short beat the passage up the eastern Solent was aided significantly by the tide, but this proved to be the undoing for all but one boat because when the wind dropped we were unable to pass the correct side of one buoy. Hence only one boat managed to continue on and finish; but we all had a good and challenging sail in such light airs – though we could have done without the drizzle at the start.
Those staying onboard overnight at Port Hamble had drinks together (courtesy of the Commodore) and then dinner at Banana Wharf restaurant where we sat outside warmed by patio heaters.
Sunday dawned with a little more wind and we were able to start where planned with a short beat and then a long downwind passage all the way to Chi. The question was whether to use the main channel or Dolphin Passage and at times the wind dropped to keep the question open (for the back markers). But the wind filled in and all went between the forts and then had a more speedy sail in a triangle in Hayling Bay. The finish was slightly confused by the addition of another round yellow buoy near Chi – but fortunately it did not have “Chi” written on it.

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HISC RTICHI Cruiser Challenge

HISC have announced an innovative cruiser challenge going round the Isle of Wight on Sat 17th July. CCRC members are invited to take part.
For details go to http://hisc.co.uk/cruiser-sailing/cruiser-racing/

Cowes & Back

Another weekend of CCRC sailing as we gradually return to normal races and socials.
Saturday saw us sail to Cowes with a strong tide in our favour,a south-easterly wind and brilliant sunshine. However, that strong tide was a real challenge on the race leg from East Bramble back to Browndown where the fleet had to short-tack close to shore to achieve any ground. For some that leg of 1.8 miles involved 17 tacks – a great way to improve your technique for tacking!
Dinner was at Island Sailing Club where we had an excellent meal with that superb view across the Solent.
Sunday saw rain and stronger winds (up to 25knots) and some showers for the return race. The start was delayed slightly to allow a ship through what would otherwise have been us beating across the main channel. After that beat it was straight back to Chi but with some boats choosing the route through the forts and others through the dolphin passage.

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The Crews’ Race

Sunday saw even less wind but more CCRC competitors; and today was the crews’ race so the normal helm had to find something else to do. A course was announced and we set off beating towards the shipping channel but gradually the wind dropped and was fitful as to its actual direction. Slowly though the fleet got to the first mark and the wind started to fill in. The next leg was northwards to Chi and the downwind sails flew. Nevertheless the decision was made to shorten the race, both because of the time expired and the risk of the wind dropping again. Another great day of challenging sailing and learning more about how to sail in light airs.

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Bramidge Trophy with Chichester Yacht Club

Saturday’s race was the annual Bramidge Trophy race – a team race between CCRC and Chichester Yacht Club(CYC); a race which was been going on for some decades. As forecast the wind was light and fluky but at least it was dry after days of rain. Twelve boats turned up for a rolling start and a race of about 12 miles around the racing marks in Hayling Bay plus the navigational mark “Winner”. The light airs and changing wind direction led to many position changes on the water. Then we all gathered in CYC for some drinks and a sociable dinner followed by the results. These used the NHC system with a progressive handicap applied for boats in this race since 2016 and for 2021 CCRC won the trophy back from CYC.

 

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Weather – Changeable

Dead calm, Force 5, East wind, North wind, West wind, brilliant sunshine, dark cloud, rain, snow – we had it all in today’s race – okay I lied about the snow! Some had left the harbour with reefs in because the forecast was for force 4-6; yet arriving at the start mark – WE – we found no wind and a postponement which we all thought would not last long. Meanwhile one boat had engine problems – had they picked up a lobster pot around the prop? They headed slowly back into harbour.
An hour later there was a whisper of wind and with the threat of strong winds arriving soon a short course was set and we headed off from Sparkes. A beat to Winner and then on to Hard, then Chi, then Sparkes to finish. For some the downwind legs were slow – they had not rigged for downwind sails in light airs. But for some by the end of the race there was 15 knots of wind and soon gusts of 25 knots as the rain arrived. We scooted back into the harbour after a “changeable” day race.

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First Weekend of Racing for 2021

Although many members’ boats were not yet launched we went ahead with the first weekend of racing, and what a super weekend it was. With the high pressure over the UK the wind was a bit uncertain for both days but it was there – with it strengthening during both races as it veered to the south. Seven boats competed on each day and each race had short legs in case we needed to shorten, which on Saturday we did.
Brilliant sunshine, a gentle breeze, calm seas, and a chance to sail – what more could we have wanted.

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