Racing: St Malo Race 2007

Click on a link below to go to that page.  

Cowes –Dinard 2007

With a southerly wind and 2 hours of flood yet to run ,the problems posed by  getting out of the Solent was unknown territory for us. The island shore would benefit from the eddy to Gurnard , but would the wind be too fluky? The plateau on the mainland shore from Beaulieu  onwards looked a better bet , but we would be giving away a mile of windward advantage. We metaphorically tossed a coin ,  started  at the far leeward end , and thankfully led the fleet out of the Solent.

By Hurst we were on the wind and were soon overtaken by the French Dufour “Major Tom” , who was making impressive progress to windward. The game plan was to take a long port tack until a forecast veer but in fact the  wind backed  even more  and the whole fleet held  port on a great circle route. At 2000 a 15 degree shift came and we tacked on it , crossing our main rivals , but with the East going tide , the COG was at right angles to our hoped for course , and when after 30 mts we had no further veer , we tacked back.

At 2130 rain and increasing wind announced the long awaited front , and sure enough the big veer came through just as were tack changing down to the 2 again , allowing us to lay Les Hanois with sheets just eased. Bucketing along in the pitch black  with the  rocky West coast of Guernsey under our lee , struggling to tie in a reef with rain pouring down my neck ,  it occurred to me that we do have a really rather odd hobby!

Dawn revealed another Sigma to windward , and we both changed up to our big jibs , and then shy kites as we buckled down to the serious business of getting in before the wind died. We made it with the last few puffs , but 4 others in class 3 ( including With Alacrity in 3rd)   had beaten us - their corrected times relating nicely to our half hour wasted tack.

Its these sort of decisions on which winning or losing hinge . And being odd sort of creatures we seem to quickly forget the rain and discomfort of the night and look forward to  getting it right next time.

Weird or what!

Click here for the sigma nationals which followed...

Other Race Reports :