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Race to Marchwood YC and Back

Even though mid-summers day is just a week away the weekend was mostly grey, quite windy and with rain showers. And additional complications included Hayling Island being blocked by a burst water main on Friday, the M27 being closed on the Saturday and some boats being lifted in late! Nevertheless CCRC racing proceeded.
Saturday’s race to Marchwood started with a beat toward the shipping lane then a long leg reaching past Ryde (passing the other race which had started at Chi 15 mins before us) where we then sailed a triangle including a downwind leg, but no downwind sails appeared in the 20-26 knots of wind. Then a final reach up to the finish at Coronation, from which we sailed up Southampton Water to Marchwood Yacht Club.
At Marchwood there was less wind and the sun made a few appearances so all had drinks on deck while watching the container and cruise ship movements a short distance away. Then it was dinner in the Yacht Club before an early night in preparation for an early start the next morning.
At 7am most were leaving their berths and heading back down towards the race start south of Hamble Point. The wind rapidly built again and the showers made further appearances before a start beating south-west. Then a very long leg back to Chi with the wind sometimes gusting up to 27 knots. Once out of the Solent there were more waves to contend with but all finished within sight of each other at Chi in the late morning.
Well done to the PRO and ROs given the conditions.
A windy weekend but a good time was had by all (I think!).

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Summer Mini Series

Saturday’s race was to be the first of the Summer Mini-Series but Storm Miguel produced winds gusting around 35 knots so the race was postponed to Sunday. Despite the winds the crews of some 9 boats still gathered in Northney marina for the barbecue.
Next day the forecast was for only gentle breezes, which increased slightly as a sea breeze rose and ten boats turned out to race in a day of sunny spells.
Our Acting PRO/RO used a RIB to squeeze in the full three races for the mini-series each lasting an hour to an hour and half with varied start and finish points. Each start was quite competitive with some close quarters manoeuvres; a couple being squeezed out and one touching the mark. There was a good mixture of upwind, downwind and reaching legs so plenty of opportunity to test downwind sail launches, drops and packs.
Another great CCRC weekend.

Thrilling Race Back From Cowes

Sunday’s race back from Cowes to Chichester was all downwind but with wind gusting around 24knots. Most managed to fly downwind sails for the whole distance and gybe around the marks. It was a thrilling end to the weekend with some surfing in the gusts.

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VPRS Nationals

The 2019 VPRS Nationals were organised by Chichester Cruiser Racing Club on Sunday 26th May. Competitors converged on Cowes with the contingent from Poole and the contingent from Chichester each holding passage races on their way to take part. The VPRS handicap system is now used by some seventeen clubs and six of these clubs were represented – though this is complicated by some being members of multiple clubs. Competitors had handicaps varying from 1.16 to 0.773 so the fleet was divided into two classes.
The night before the races the crews came together for a dinner attended by over 70 people at Island Sailing Club and this was concluded by a briefing for the next day.
Sunday morning came with the promise of some fresh breezes but nearly all those booked headed out to a start line east of Bramble Bank. Here the two classes had three races each with those in class 2 having slightly shorter courses. For class 1 the first race was some 7.6 miles rounding 5 marks plus the start and finish; class 2 had a shorter version of this course and started 5 minutes later. The second race was a simpler windward/leeward course with class 1 repeating it three times to make a distance of 8 miles; class 2 completed this only twice. The third race, but which time the wind had strengthened to be frequently 25 knots, for class 1 was more varied again and 5.3 miles long; with class 2 again having a slightly shorter variation.
By 4:15pm all had finished racing and were returning to Cowes.
All competitors then gathered in Cowes Corinthian Sailing Club for the prize giving with the whole list of positions announced and prizes going to the first three boats in each class of the series (single race discarded).
Full results are published here but notable (for CCRC) were Intrepid coming second in class 1 and Folkdance coming third in class 2.
Next day the Poole and Chichester contingents each had passage races to return home.
Our thanks to Pam and Richard for organising the event.
Pictures from Anne Bonwit and there are more on the web site

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Race to Cowes

Saturday’s race to Cowes was a race of three distinct parts. The start was supposed to be directly into the gently breeze but this soon turned into a fetch and after the first mark the downwind sails came out as we headed towards Gilkicker Point. Once through the forts we entered a “wind hole” so sails hung limp and some dropped anchor to avoid being swept back. After a while (it seemed a very long while but we were patient) a gentle breeze started from the west and gradually reached each boat. Soon we had 15-20 knots of wind for the last stage towards Cowes.

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VPRS Nationals This Weekend

This weekend sees CCRC organising the VPRS Nationals from Cowes on Sunday. There are currently twelve CCRC boats due to head for Cowes in the passage race tomorrow with nearly all participating in the VPRS Nationals and a couple either being Sunday’s Committee Boat or maybe helping to crew other CCRC boats. Add another eleven boats from five other clubs and we are set for some exciting races on Sunday as well as some great opportunities for socialising with other cruiser racers.

Race To Yarmouth not round the island!…

CCRC weekend races were Saturday to Yarmouth and then return on Sunday, with the plan being to leave the Isle of Wight to starboard each day. Unfortunately the winds were forecast to be very light so it was decided that both trips should be through the Solent so there was plenty of opportunities to shorten. Retrospectively this also turned out to be a good plan since a fishing boat caught a large sea mine in its nets off the Needles resulting in a large exclusion zone which might well have been across our race path.
Saturday morning we gathered in Hayling Bay for the start, but lack of wind then moved us to south of Portsmouth and then on to north of Wootton before the PRO decided there was sufficient breeze to start. Soon we were zooming off west under downwind sails and but mainly with the tide. Once past Cowes the wind dropped but within a few minutes reappeared as a gentle south-westerly which helped to get round some buoys while going the tide strengthened. Then it was into Yarmouth, which had a queue outside of yachts hoping for a berth but we had ours all reserved. In late afternoon it was drinks onboard a number of boats before dinner at Yarmouth Sailing Club.
Sunday foresaw even less wind for the Ladies’ Race and the fleet motored eastward from buoy to buoy in the hope of sea breeze picking up but it was not to be. From outside Portsmouth the race was abandoned leaving competitors to motor or sail very very slowly homewards.

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