Racing: JOG
Click on a link below to go to that page.  

Cowes - Fecamp
The Offshore leg of the Sigma Nationals
Click here for the inshore leg.

The curiously long winded process of getting ready for an offshore race was prolonged even further this time by the requirement to calibrate our instruments ( yes , this time we had finally solved the season long problem). There was the small issue of needing to do this in flat water and light winds whilst we were faced with a solid 30 knot SE as we thrashed our way over to the start. A quick look at the chart confirmed that Fecamp was dead to windward - but we consoled ourselves that at least it was hot, so we were all in shorts and T-shirts under our foulies , and even if WE didnt like going to windward, Festina was in her element bullying her way out of the Eastern Solent at the head of our class.

Once through the forts the wind was in fact easterly allowing us to crack off 5 degrees and still make the course. Gradually the clear skies led to lower temperatures and we all had to go below to tog up , which exposed a few weak early season stomachs. I was expecting the wind to veer and increase so at dusk we took our second reef - but by mid channel the wind was down to 15 and we could still head for the finish if we stayed hard on the wind , so we shook out our reefs and climbed away from the fleet.

Dawn was as ever very welcome in the now distinctly chilly wind, and by 0800 with the coast in sight, it began to ease , soon leaving us bobbing around going nowhere. Gradually tiny dots on the horizon appeared as the whole fleet brought up a NE'er under kites , and then with 2 miles to go the race started again as we were faced with yet another transition into an oven like offshore breeze.

We managed to find the shortest way into this and crossed ahead of the rest of our class , but failed to save our time on 2 smaller boats, giving us 3rd .,But most importantly we stayed ahead of the other Sigmas to take the championship for the second year.


Other Race Reports :