CCRC held its Annual General Meeting at the weekend and held a prize-giving lunch immediately afterwards in lieu of our usual Prize Giving Dinner (and often dance).
After a year with few post-race socials it was great for everyone to get together to socialise and collect our prizes.
It was the last CCRC weekend of racing for 2021 and what a couple of days of weather!
The forecast for Saturday was light southerly breezes so a westerly at the start was a surprise – but then it died completely leaving the fleet stationary and some pointing the wrong way. Just as we were thinking we might need to abandon and restart (or even abandon and not restart) a breeze appeared from the south so we were off. The clouds cleared and there was pleasant sunshine. There then followed 5 legs of competitive racing with much changing of positions as downwind sails were used or not. The 30 min wait for the wind in the first leg meant we had to shorten though.
Sunday had a similar forecast for wind direction (Southerly) but more wind – and so it was. We had a long leg out to Horse Tail and a beat back plus a few legs around the Hayling Bay buoys before a final leg almost dead downwind to finish at WE. The stronger wind (up to 20knots) meant fewer flew their downwind sails – or needed to.
A good weekend for the last races of the year with more boats out than expected.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After two weekends with strong winds which resulted in race cancellations we finally had a weekend with gentle breezes forecast – maybe too little to race! Nevertheless 8 boats turned out to race on the Saturday and 6 on Sunday. Both days the PROs set courses which could be easily shortened but by circling a ring of buoys it gave a wide variation of sailing angles.
With downwind sails forbidden some legs could have been very slow but on Saturday there was a little more wind than promised. Indeed, after a 15min start postponement the wind backed to the west and and kicked in reliably and even peaked at 18 knots! I am sure we all enjoyed a sail with some brisk and some gentle legs in the sun though cooled by the sea breeze.
Sunday was a more gentle race with a peak wind of around 13 knots but the fleet all completed a slightly longer course.