Saturday, 16 June 2012

IDOR 2012 - Tuesday: the western solent

After a foul wet and windy day on Monday we had an early start to catch the tide west on Tuesday, but thankfully the wind had moderated and the rain held off (more or less). Unfortunately summer temperatures also held off. The fancy instruments on the F40s told the awful truth - ten of your degrees centigrade, and that was late morning.

Tuesday’s races were another offshore followed by an inshore.  The first course was simple: cross the ISC start line going west leaving North Head to port and finish. The wind was still from the north so it was again something of a procession with boats staying in the deep water and reaching under white sails. CSORC 1 kept to the main channel going west; crossing to Hurst and then sailing the rhumb line to North Head, somewhere mid-fleet. Coming back we were struggling to stay high and ended up fighting the tide mid-channel. We put in a tack to the mainland shore and ended up at the back of the fleet. No problem, our tidal advantage would pay off and we'd gradually overhaul the back markers. Well, it never happened and we ended up last!

But for CSORC 2, the reach down to Hurst was followed by some nifty shore-hugging tactics after rounding North Head, then crossing to the Island side for the reach back to Cowes, bringing an improved result of 7th for our second offshore.
A break for lunch on the hoof and then an inshore race. For several of CSORC 1 crew this was a first round-the-cans experience; and a good one too.  OK, we didn't do that well but everybody found it fun to be leaping around rather than sitting on the rail in the cold, on a white sail reach. 17th out of 19 but we were quite quick upwind at least. On the last run the wind went from "breezy" to "light" and we missed the chance to hoist the kite - not having practised this manoeuvre.

However, for CSORC 2 another setback in the form of a jammed furler meant we could not make the start of Race 3, so we retired to get it fixed in Cowes. Bill from Sunsail had the problem solved in minutes, which gave us time to prepare for the evening’s pontoon party with our paired boat (HASSRA/DWP). At Thursday’s prize-giving we learnt that Paul’s tin whistle and our guests’ “dark and stormys” had so charmed the judges they awarded us the pontoon party prize!

Phil Armitage

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