Racing: The Morgan Cup 2007

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Morgan Cup 2007


With 4 days to go this was looking like a real head banging affair - 100 miles dead to windward in fresh to strong winds and Spring tides. By race time the forecast wind was downgraded somewhat , but it was obviously not going to be an easy race. Well , we decided that if we really had to , we could do head banging , and so we headed off into the Channel from St Cats after an exciting beat close tacking up the shore in the dark.

We had reason to be glad of an early tack change to the No2  off Dunnose , as the Spring ebb got underway and built both wind and sea. Our pre race tactics were based on the fact that the exact  wind direction would be very difficult to predict other than the fact that it would probably veer after the passage of rain on Saturday afternoon , so until then we would treat it as an oscillating wind and tack on the shifts.

Soon after St Cats we tacked onto starboard to clear the NW tidal set along the Island shore and out  into the main SW ebb in the Channel. It seemed prudent to tack back onto port on the edge of the shipping Channel , with the advantage of being in less strong tide  compared with further South once it became adverse. There was much consternation as the wind backed 20 degrees  more than predicted , putting us at a disadvantage vis a vis the boats further South - but we consoled ourselves that we were on the making tack and it might yet veer - so we bucketed on through the night trying to keep some semblance of civilisation as the boat descended into the usual windward going wet weather state. Our new instrument calibrations seemed out , and in trying to remedy this I inadvertently reset it to factory settings , completely confusing the deck crew who reverted to sailing by the seat of their pants  - and made a good job of it too.

The flood tide brought flatter seas and less wind so we changed up to full rig and prayed for the wind to go right. Eventually with two hours of foul tide to go we tacked and almost immediately found a bit of veer. 3 hours later we got another 15 degrees which put us to within half a mile of our Les Hanois layline - not bad for a 40 mile layline call - but in truth fairly fortuitous.

We changed down again as the ebb began in anticipation of a bash - and soon got it as the tide tumbled around the Channel Island rocks. By Guernsey we were down to 2 reefs , but revelling in picture perfect blue skies and white seas and keeping up with bigger boats who hadn’t reefed. The over falls off Hanois were "refreshing " - reaching parts ( ie down our necks and up our boots) that other waves don’t usually reach , before bearing off for Jersey with a fair chance of holding tide all the way. It was pretty rolly off the South coast of Jersey too - but then were were surfing down the rollers under kite  , whilst the bigger boats who had already finished ,bashed their way back. “B........ that for a bunch of Daisy's” we  thought “-we have  had our fill of beating “- so we crossed the line and headed off to the East coast of Jersey -downwind and tide  - and anchored in St Catherine’s Bay for a huge meal and 6 hours kip before the journey home.

11th overall and second in class probably represents a good tactical race , but a temporary dose of the slows in the night whilst we got to grips with the instruments going down. The crew should however be proud of pulling out yet another fair result in difficult conditions, and note that we are now lying 4th in the overall RORC standings,




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