The Sunday race didn’t look like it was going to happen with a thick sea mist and very little wind in the harbour. However the sun was breaking through as we prepared for the 14:00 start and we confidently agreed a course of Bolivar, Meath, Bolivar, Penrhos, Clipera and finish as the forecast was for a steady 10kt Northerly winds out in the bay.
4 yachts lined up for the start with Rhumbull getting a good start in the fickle light airs, confirmed by the Port Control calls to the ferries. Hydrology in second place stayed windward of Flair as they headed out into the mist with Vision following. The visibility was around 2 cables so the fog horns were blasting accompanied by the horns on the ferry leaving port. The ghostly images of Northwestern buoy then the Aluminum Jetty appeared out of the mist and the competitors were clear to cross out of the harbour. Now there was no sign, from Flair, of Rhumbull and Hydrology was also slowly disappearing into the mist.
On the beat up to Bolivar the winds strengthened to the forecast 10kt and the sun shone down through the mist making the sailing experience on a beat quite spectacular! We caught a glimpse of Hydrology as we made for Bolivar and then there was Bolivar almost on the bow before we had spotted it. We assume everyone made it round the mark returning to Meath on a broad reach with spinnakers up, very challenging for Flair with only 3 crew and discharged batteries again causing all the nav gear to stop!
Vision appeared out of the mist as we headed down to Meath and we saw her and Hydrology again on the repeat leg to Bolivar. The return to Bolivar allows the crew on Flair to enjoy a cuppa and a bit of late lunch before setting the spinnaker for the second time to return to Clipera. As we crossed the TSS back into the harbour the winds slackened again and it became a bit of a challenge to keep the spinnaker flying on a beam reach.
Yet again a fantastic day’s sailing at Holymed!
With a late start set for 14:00 to allow for hull cleaning on Flair IV just 2 yachts turned out on this beautiful day again here in Holyhead. With a bit of a rush start Flair IV arrived at the line and organised the start countdown, having mastered how to use the racing screen on the chart-plotter.
The light Northerly winds again favoured Rhumbull but Flair was much quicker than she had been with a feeling that if the rest of the hull was cleaned she might actually perform to handicap. The course was Bolivar (s), Clipera (p), Penrhos (p) and finish and as the two boats left the harbour Rhumbull was to windward but not much ahead of Flair this remained the pattern all the way up to Bolivar where, as can be seen from Flair’s track, there was keen competition on the tacking to the mark.
As Rhumbull rounded first she got a rapid set of her asymmetric spinnaker and shot off towards Clipera, Flair on the other hand had to drop the jib before setting her pole, as in the rush to get to the start the pole and the genoa were entangled at the clew…[the break in the track was due to the service batteries running too low on Flair and the instruments stopping.... Re-started after running the battery charging! ]
By Clipera Rhumbull had a significant lead which she maintained to the finish but it was such a great day on the water that neither crew was overly bothered about the race, just good to be out there again enjoying the fantastic views and sailing area that is Holymed!
Here is a video of the problem which has dogged Flair IV since her arrival at Holyhead