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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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New Racing Rules of Sailing

There are new Racing Rules of Sailing for 2021 (to 2024) and we now have a link to these as well as other useful documents such as one identifying the actual changes on CCRC Documents page – https://www.ccrc.co.uk/ccrc-documents/

Fitting Out Meeting – Online

Friday saw our usual Fitting Out Supper replaced by a Fitting Out Meeting held online with some presentations and sociable discussions of the programme of CCRC events for 2021.
We agreed to go ahead and start racing on Saturday 17th April; while some boat preparation has been delayed there is enough to have a race for those ready. The rest of the CCRC programme remains as per the published list though options for the usual cross-Channel race and Spring Cruise (end of May) remain open as we doubt crossing to France will be likely.
We talked through race start procedures for Race Officers and competitors plus aids like SailEvent and a new link showing the marks CCRC uses.
We all look forward to getting back on the water ASAP.

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A Fine Weekend of Racing

Forecasts for the weekend were for North-Easterly winds gusting over 20 knots but still warm despite being the second half of September. Great conditions for some brisk racing!
Saturday afternoon saw CCRC racing with (and against) Channel Sailing Club whose turn it was to organise the event for this year. They set up a WhatsApp group which added to the inter-boat discussion and announced a course of some 18 miles. Starting south Portsmouth and finishing near Cowes the course had only limited upwind legs though the significant tide was also against us for these legs adding to the challenge. Also added to the challenge was the wind which varied widely in both direction and strength. It was a terrific day to be on the water racing and then most gathered in Cowes for the evening.
Sunday morning was a CCRC race back to Chichester – so mostly against the wind but with the tide. Again it was a terrific race with a fresh breeze which rose and fell in strength and direction – one such sustained gust resulted in the first half of the fleet passing one side of the fort while the second half passed the other side. Then it was through the dolphin passage and some legs between the buoys in Hayling Bay before the finish at Chi. Another super day for a sail in the warm autumn sunshine.
CCRC won the team race against CSC and detailed results for this are on the programme page; the CCRC results for both days will be on the results page.
Sorry, for lack of pictures but I was too busy hanging on!

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