Racing: Short-Handed
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Island Double 07

This was almost a rerun of the fully crewed race two  weeks earlier, but to our disappointment we were put in the small class- but spent the whole day racing boat for boat  with the big class.
The wind was West  , but again backed to SW at the start line. It paid to be on the mainland shore to Yarmouth ( big right handed shifts ) , but on the island shore after  Sconce as the wind freed . As usual we gybed into Freshwater  – but we lost first place to an Elan 333 who took the  rhumb line to St Cats  – possibly because  the wind backed a lot and we were later in the tide, so we had fair tide much earlier than normal.

We were able to hold port gybe all the way in from St Cats and noticed a strong NW set at Bembridge  (1200).  From  Apex there was a lot of south in the wind – allowing us to make it to Old Castle Point  with only one small Stbd hitch .  back in the solent the sea breeze came and went –from 12 knots veered to 17 knots when  backed  - ie lifting in puffs. We held the  No 2 all the way – what we lost by being under canvassed we gained by tacking better along the sands and accelerating in the puffs.  Bryony was magnificent short tacking along the sands , working like a Trojan whilst I lazed away behind the wheel without breaking sweat , as befits an old man!

This was a  marvellous days sailing , and whilst we were beaten by a group of tiny boats we made very few mistakes. We were the first “big“ boat in our class and corrected well ahead of all the class 1 boats – so can claim a moral victory.

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