Race to Lymington

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.

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