Sunday was the CCRC Barts Bash charity race and the wind was very mixed in strength and direction. Before the race start we had winds of 15 knots only for this drop to almost nothing just after the start; then, an hour later we had 17 knots again! We also had significant rainfall as a front came through. Our Barts Bash race was particularly taxing for each boats’ tactician (who was probably also navigator, helm and crew!) as the course consisted of a list of marks which could be rounded in almost any order and direction plus a mark which must be rounded fourth and another than must be rounded twice separately. Each boat seemed to reach a different conclusion as to the best tactic and sometimes met another at unexpected places. An interestingly different race and in aid of a good cause.
The weekend’s race presented more or a challenge than the previous week with strong winds having been forecast for some days. Saturday was a standard Bay race around the cans in Hayling Bay but the strong winds put off some of the smaller boats. It also meant a rolling start to avoid the Race Officer needing to anchor in the significant swell. Because of the reliable wind the Acting PRO set a fairly long course (11 miles) with some longer legs out towards the shipping lane plus some shorter legs close inshore. With gusts of up to 25 knots no downwind sails were used and some were reefing in and out depending on their heading. The warm temperature and bright blue sky made for an enjoyable but exhilarating sail.
For mid-September the weather was superb with a clear blue sky providing warm sunshine. Unfortunately there was also only a gentle breeze and even that was not reliable.
The CCRC race started in Hayling Bay with a short windward leg back towards the Chichester entrance before we turned west and the downwind sails emerged to take best advantage of the gentle breeze. After rounding a buoy off Gilkicker we had another short windward leg back towards Portsmouth and then the downwind sails were out again as we headed towards Lymington in the western Solent. Our boat speeds were increased by the strong west-going tide and by the time we were passing Cowes most boat speed was actually the tide. The course was shortened at East Lepe and some boats managed to round it while others were in the wrong place and with too little wind to get across towards it so they failed to finish.
Then we gathered in Lymington Yacht Haven in their rally area before our sociable dinner in the Royal Lymington Yacht Club.
Next morning it was an early start to take advantage of the last of the east going tide. The lack of wind at that time meant a change of plan to motor east to Portsmouth for the start. We motored through a smooth and silky sea in bright sunshine, passing through a patch of fog off Cowes. Outside Portsmouth the start proceeded smoothly for a windward leg followed by a downwind leg (during which the wind backed) into Hayling Bay and a few turns around the racing marks there before a finish as Chi.
CCRC will be hosting a charity race “Bart’s Bash” on Sunday 22nd September. This is not a standard race – you choose the order of the buoys yourself! And entry is free so non-members are welcome too.
It will be fun and all in a good cause.
Find out more and join in.
Saturday saw some 30 yachts gathered on the start line for a single race but with numerous results to be calculated. CCRC was racing in an inter-team race against Chichester Yacht Club, and separately against Channel Sailing Club. Then there were to be the normal CCRC handicap results and an overall result for each boat. Something of a challenge for the Results Officer!
The weather was excellent with a little sun and a gentle northerly breeze; though that breeze had frequent shifts and gusts to keep us all alert. With the number of boats and a reliable breeze the Principal Race Officer was able to set an excellent course which after an initial shortish upwind leg, took us on longer down-wind legs south-west to Winner and then along the shipping lane to Horse Tail and New Grounds before a long beat back to Rizzi and finish at Chi. The Race Office ably handled the start and finish with the number of boats which included many we were not familiar with and/or had no sail number. It was three hours of enjoyable sailing where each wind shift or adjustment showed whether you were gaining or losing against your competitors.
After the race we headed into Chichester for a sociable drinks and excellent supper at Chichester Yacht Club before the results were announced and trophies awarded. CCRC won the Wooden Spoon trophy against CSC; while CYC won the Bramidge Trophy (after a “recount”) against CCRC.
Altogether an excellent day.
Tomorrow’s race is likely to result in well over 20 boats on the start line as CCRC stages a combined event with Chichester Yacht Club and Channel Sailing Club competing club-against-club for two separate trophies. All this and the races are part of the CCRC Bay Series with associated points.
Then it’s a sociable dinner at Chichester Yacht Club.
Each year the Commodore’s Bender presents members and crews with an event which is sailing related but not standard races. This year is a visit to the RNLI College in Poole.
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