With a wet and windy forecast of North West 15-20 knots, we knew racing would happen this weekend. We set off early as we had a couple of crew changes after Hamble Winter Series weekend 1 and wanted to make sure everyone was happy in their positions.
A few tacks took us up Southampton Water, then a quick hoist and we started to make our way to the start line. We were cutting it fine to be at the start in time but made it with some time to spare, and a successful hoist, gybe and spinnaker drop.
Hamble Winter Series Race 1
With the wind gusting to over 20 knots but consistently 15-16 knots we stuck to the No1 our largest Jib. We crossed the line in the middle of the fleet but lost ground upwind as most of the fleet were sensibly using their No2 Jibs, and this appeared to be giving them an advantage. We set up our spinnaker for the first downwind leg as we approached the mark, but a rogue wave caught the spinnaker bag and threatened to spill the contents into the Solent. We managed to stop this from happening, but we couldn’t hoist the spinnaker at the top mark so although we rounded in 7th we soon dropped back to 9th place. With such a short course we didn’t lose too much ground, and managed to catch up but we were unable to pass anyone before the finish. A disappointing start but lots of lessons learned.
Hamble Winter Series Race 2
We decided to change to the No2 for the second race but the jib got twisted as we started to hoist it, and with only 5 minutes before the start we struggled to get it sorted. We sailed to the line with the main fleet trying to get in good positions, we were 3-4 boat lengths behind but we had the jib up and we hit the line with speed.
The fleet set off to the West but I wanted to head North as I hoped there was less adverse tide inshore. We tacked and headed North, and made our way to the top mark. Vitesse, our close competitor and neighbour on our pontoon, were close by. We rounded the top mark just in front, but a slow hoist saw them catch up and get past us on the downwind leg. We were unsure where we were in the fleet but on the second beat we had boats in front and behind- knowing our upwind speed was good we set off to catch and pass Vitesse. Another close battle around the top mark but we managed to get round 4-5 boats lengths ahead, this time we were both slow to hoist and we found ourselves ahead until we had a less than perfect drop at the bottom mark and Vitesse got past us again.
Cold, tired and wet, let’s hope for slightly better weather next week.
Well done everyone.