The first race of the day was to the Nab and back. A spinnaker run off the start developed into a reach, then a close reach as the wind built. It became a case of "who can hold the kite longest" until near the forts, when some dropped, and some held on, going wide. Under white sails we were close on an increasing wind as the Nab came closer. The sea was beginning to kick up as we came out of the shelter of the IOW.
At this point we were well positioned in the upper half of the fleet with a couple of boats close to windward and a couple who had held onto their kites and were ahead but downwind. As we approached the Nab we rounded with a number of boats quite close. We gave the mark a healthy offing but a boat just ahead of us gybed and rounded up suddenly, T-boning the Nab with a crunch. A quick glance showed that they had some damage but weren't holed or anything life-threatening.
Another reach took us to the red posts off Ryde sands, going inshore to cheat the tide. Our experience with the Portchester mud had told us that the depth sounder would show the best part of minus a metre before we hit bottom, which was reassuring to know as we saw the depth go down to less than a metre.
A sprint across the channel took us to Fastnet insurance and then a beat back to the ISC line. We were 8th and only 6 minutes behind the winners in over four hours of racing. In fact the racing was close throughout, with SOCA in 20th place only ten minutes behind us.
After a brief respite and lunch we had a short second race beating close inshore up to East Lepe then across to Quinnell with the kite and a gybe down to Flying Fish and home. Our 9th place set the standard for the next couple of days. We were very happy with the racing so far, and enjoying the F4-5 wind after a few light wind IDORs of late.