The Round the Island race in the IDOR had been scheduled for Wednesday but was then switched to Thursday on the forecast of better wind. And so it was. A downwind start westwards (at 7:30 !) against the tide. We went inshore to start, as did the majority, then sacrificed tide for reaching angle and speed as we went into the main channel. The wind was NE F4 and it was grey and overcast. Halfway down the Solent we had a slim lead, with the majority of boats inshore at the island side looking for less tide, and a couple on the mainland shore. 3 or 4 boats were with us in the middle, but behind us. After Newtown our strategy started to look less clever as the inshore boats picked up a fair tide while we were still in foul. We should have gone inshore right then but we stuck it out and watched much of the fleet go past us.
At the Bridge buoy we doused the kite and started a long slog into the wind. At St Catherines the wind became super-gusty as the wind came over the hills. We stuck out the gusts close in, trying to buck the foul tide. Loads of boats were getting periodically flattened by the gusts and a couple put reefs in. A couple also got past us in the lulls under the lighthouse.
Next a long beat up to Bembridge. We went offshore to find some weaker tide and gained a handful of places. Once round Bembridge we went inside the fort but outside the red posts and the sandy bits. 37 had gone aground ahead of us, and didn't get off for an hour or so. In this leg the remaining boats just gradually sailed past us, the last one almost at the line. We must have been towing a bucket, but anyway we were all exhausted, wet and hungry.
We had to prime the cooling system before starting the engine, and arrived in harbour after six (I think). Not a good result but an excellent day's sailing and a baptism in "offshore" for more than one of the crew.