Over the last few years we've kept up a regular blog from the IDOR, updating it day by day as the week progressed. I have to admit to complete failure this year, but the reason was a good one. Frankly it's been too busy with some fantastic sailing and lively weather. I hope to make amends with a report over the next few days.
CSORC 2 crew of 8 met for the first time at the Sunday evening briefing in the Club bar, to find that we were all rejects from our respective department or club boats, having failed to make the initial crew selection. But we soon got to know one another, checking the boat and stowing our personal gear and victuals, before dining ashore alongside the CSORC 1 crew.
Monday dawned wet and windy and all CSORC 1 plans to depart Port Solent at 9:30 went in the bin and we spent the morning setting up the boat and running through spinnaker hoists and drops, periodically retiring to the damp saloon to warm up. The weather was what is technically known as "filthy". Leaving the pontoon was a bit fraught as the strong northerly was threatening to blow us quickly off onto the mud, with only a large, barnacle-encrusted pile a few metres downwind to stop us. Anyway we got away at noon and headed out into the rain and wind. The first race was at two thirty with a startline off Sea View. Sea View Sailing Club very kindly did the honours with a committee boat start. We were very disorganised and a bit slow over the line. The race was essentially a bit of a processional reach off to Cowes but quite suitable for a shakedown in twenty odd knots. We crossed the Island Sailing Club finish line 15th out of 19 runners, the HSE 1 crew having had to go back to base to get their sail repaired. Once back we set about drying off ready for the evening at the ISC.
For CSORC 2 Monday morning also brought a setback when we had to change boats to one with a working VHF set - quite understandable, but re-checking the inventory and re-stowing the gear left even less time for our untried crew to practise our spinnaker work. In the event the wind proved too strong anyway, and “no spinnakers” were ordered for the afternoon race from Seaview to Cowes. We put in two reefs from the outset, which paid off as we saw less-reefed boats struggling in the NW gusts, and we were well pleased to reach the top half of the table in 8th place for our first race.
Ashore we all had a pretty good dinner at the Island Sailing Club after which the skippers and pretenders went off for the briefing in a cold and windy tent. Not surprisingly the briefing was brief, given the temperature.
I have to say that the ISC is one of the most enjoyable places to pass an evening: real hospitality and a great atmosphere.