On Calypso we really enjoyed the two days (11th-12th June) racing in Hayling Bay. The weather was very good, sun cream and hats required and a good sailing wind. On Saturday it was a little too windy at 12-20kts for Calypso’s comfort zone, but we joined in anyway. We probably had too much sail up but with four of us on board we managed to keep the boat more less upright enough for reasonable progress. We arrived late at the start area so unfortunately crossed the line about 3 mins after the start time, but I don’t think we were the last! With a longer leg going offshore to the Dean Elbow area and a few shorter legs inshore we had plenty of variety with pressure, tide and sea state variations. This gave the tacticians a few options to choose from. We elected to spend more time in deeper water where possible. For company around the course we had mostly Ku Ring Gui and Sundance , swapping positions on the various legs or rounding marks. The last leg was long, dead downwind, with a quite a stiff wind and enough wave action from aft that was going to affect progress. Most boats chose goose winged or a white sails deep broad reach. On Calypso for a sporting finish we elected for a spinnaker ride with a gybe in the middle. However a mis-connected sheet delayed the spinnaker hoist, then once up the boat was a rather handful to handle so it came down soon after and before the gybe. Pleasingly I think we recorded our fastest speed ever through water, but only for a short while. On the approach to finish line we closed up to the rest of our group in the fleet, so we did not much lose much time while phaffing about with the spinnaker.
The evening social for the race fleet was in the Itchenor Sailing Club. A lovely location, excellent food and we had the large conservatory to ourselves. Results were announced, on NHC Handicap Calypso took a 1st place.
Sunday was lighter winds around 8 to 14kts from the south west. It was perfect for racing, the longer water line yachts again probably have a slight edge. Once more Calypso and Sundance were closely matched for much of the course. After the usual upwind start the course had a couple of reaches where it was border line if a symmetrical spinnakers would hold up. At the start of the first reach it was too close for downwind sails so we started to rig for the next leg after a gybe. But all that changed because as the wind quickly came further aft, soon the helm called for the S3 spinnaker early but on the current tack! We managed to get some value from the downwind sail hoist before the gybe, as did Sundance next to us. On the gybe we had an incident because a shackle pin on the starboard spinnaker sheet turning block came undone, pin and shackle both dropped over the side. A quick repair with a gash length of Spectra line was required while crew held their stations mid gybe. After a few more marks the last leg was again downwind but this time deeper, so the S2 came out to play and our speed picked up nicely. The yachts at the back of the fleet suffered offshore in a lull in the winds speeds which spread out the fleet. In the results we surprisingly did not do so well compared to the windier day before. Ah well, it was the taking part that was the reward.
After the finish line we had to head back to home in Gosport Premier Marina. For us it was a double reefed beat west, back past the “forts”, with welcome tea and cheese sandwiches on the way.
We are looking forward to the Round The Island Race next.