2019-06-05 Race no 1
On Wednesday 5th June we welcomed back to the HSC Offshore fleet Jaydreamer before she rushes off to participate in the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race on 12th June, good luck Paul!
As preparations were made to get to the start line Flair IV’s crew arrived and had to carry out a mast climb, to fix the newly restored anemometer, which delayed her getting off the mooring until just on the 5 minute gun. Therefore she had to sail off with her main partially raised and no engine. Successfully away from the moorings she then had to round up to complete setting the main but that delay meant preparations for flying the spinnaker were somewhat delayed too.
The six yachts competing got reasonable starts even if not all of them were quite ready, the yachts closer to the breakwater started on jibs leaving their spinnakers until after the knuckle. Flair, as soon as she could, hoisted her spinnaker but in the rush the port sheet and guy became detached from the clew so she had to partially drop it again to re-fix. Once flying properly all looked good until there was a big bang as the pole uphaul halyard snapped! The usual Wednesday evening disasters but at least the crew now had a working anemometer!
Houdini lead the fleet out of the harbour and up to the first mark, Bolivar. The course had been subject to a late change as there are remaining concerns over the depth on spring tides at the new Penrhos location. It was more or less a dead run from the end of the breakwater to Bolivar but the flood tide was already creating a significant push NE as the yachts approached the mark with most having to gybe before rounding.
On the upwind leg back to Clipera the crews worked hard chasing from the rail to get their tacks in good order. Houdini maintained her lead closely followed by Jetstream with the rest of the fleet following Jaydreamer, Flair IV, Carpe Diem and then Shearwater.
After rounding Clipera the yachts sailed back, some under spinnaker, to Bolivar, Flair on this leg using her code 0 halyard to raise the pole and started to close the gap on the short handed Jaydreamer but by now the flood tide was getting stronger at Bolivar and as the first 4 yachts rounded the mark the gap to the two smaller yachts increased as they struggled against the tide and the dropping wind. Carpe Diem now leading Shearwater by some considerable distance.
The race had turned into a very long race disadvantaging the smaller yachts, Carpe Diem and Shearwater and there was much discussion later in the clubhouse on how to moderate this situation with the suggestion that the fleet should be split into two starts, Class 1 and Class 2. Since the results are based on elapsed time the results would still be valid; in fact at some clubs now racing is done whenever you like with a gps track record to show that you had completed a course at a time and date, within a certain period of your choice. It was also suggested that on evenings with significant tide and currents we should use buoys within the harbour to reduce the time spent by the smaller yachts at different rates of flow around some of the outer buoys.
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