This year the tides mitigated against a race round the island, so a course out into Christchurch Bay was set.
After the previous windy and wild conditions we set off on a long beat west with the tide and a moderate wind. With a 7 a.m. start it was sunny but still cold.
We beat close inshore at the start to get the extra boost along the green before coming into the main channel as the tide started to ebb west. We were well positioned from the off, so just concentrated on keeping somewhat to the island side for best tide and a bit of converging wind. Once past Hurst the sea state kicked up over the Bridge and the wind dropped somewhat making for difficult sailing. We passed SW Shingles (a mark of the course) and stood on for 100 metres or so before tacking. This was a mistake as we overstood Christchurch Ledge buoy and let Littleton inside.
We gybed back out and hoisted the kite. The next gybe was very prolonged when the lazy sheet was twisted round the pole. Another gybe and we came up high, still with the spinnaker, to round North Head then bore away at Hurst.
The run back to the finish was a simple matter of keeping the boat dead downwind and catching the occasional small surf. The breeze was back up to around 20 knots by now. Again we kept right in the middle of the channel (the tide had now turned) and watched the boats around us for small gains. Pole up, pole down, pole back, weight forward, we tried various moves to get a bit more speed but the action really hotted up at the finish. We went for a close inshore line to get to the closest end of the finish line but were hit by 90 degree wind shifts and lulls under the point.
The good winds meant we were back in time for a late lunch and a good rest in the afternoon sun.
I've not got the results from the race at the moment but think we were around 9th.
Thursday night we had a superb meal at the Corinthian and with racing not until 10 on Friday were able to have a late night.