With the wind reluctant to appear on early Saturday morning and other fleets abandoning racing all over the VHF, our Race Officer cunningly decided to wait and see how the weather developed. Another very good decision later on, moving the fleet to the East of the Solent, where some wind was found. And the race was finally on its way at 11:30 using a Competitor Start Boat.
Roxanne was the lead boat, doing a perfect start with a clear line, followed by a good 2 hours upwind on very shifty and playful light winds. After that, a spinnaker run/drift back to the forts and the start line. After 4 hours racing, the fleet headed back to Gosport, where an informal pontoon prize giving was held. Great to have a chat with everyone and find out each other’s tactics and thoughts on the race day. The prize giving was followed by a very tasty and fun dinner at the Lightship in Haslar.
Sunday woke us up with an overcast sky and a gentle breeze. The start was set at Gilkicker, with no boats over the line despite strong tide and all of us eager to cross the line bang on time. The first leg was a tight reach to the forts, seeing the fleet flying lovely looking gennakers. After half an hour, the second leg was heading up into the wind with a beautiful breeze of 5 to 10 knots. Then full spinnaker to Bembridge Ledge, where the wind increased to 15 knots for an hour or so. From there, an upwind battle was unleashed with boats marking each other and trying to make the best of the spring tide. The sun came up by lunch time and we had a gorgeous afternoon finishing the race in the Central Soent.
This was my first time racing solo, and it was fantastic finding such a great fleet spirit. Everyone was more than willing to help with tips and advice. And everyone was also conscious that this was my first race single handed, so it was amazing to find that no one pushed me while my spinnaker was flying. A really experienced, knowledgeable and considerate fleet.
Thanks very much to the Race Officer and Race Director for running the event without a glitch, and to everyone for such a fun and enjoyable weekend.
Salamander - GBR4501
Results - Race 7
Results - Race 8
Series Standings after 8 races