Competitive fleets of 13 soloists and 21 double handers battled it out on a calm Solent. For the soloistas it is the 1st race of the 2021 SORC Inshore Series. For the Double Handers, SORC were hosting the 3rd race of the RORC Double Handed Spring Series.
Despite the light conditions it was an eventful hard fought race with 7 groundings navigating close, too close for some, to the Island shore and inside Gurnard Ledge to cheat the tide. A wind shut down followed by new sea breese turning the pecking orders upside down, and the RORC Spring Series was decided by 1 second on handicap between the Sun Fast 3300's "Gentoo" and "Aries"! But, for a change, the Sun Fasts did not get it all their own way with Gavin Doyle's Corby 25 "Duff Light" taking the overall DH honours, followed by Gareth Edmondsen sailing the J109 "Jazzy Jellyfish". In the Solo class the smaller boats won the day with Rob Macgregors Mustang 30 "Dark Horse" leading Paul Reymonds Parker 275 "Oi Oi" and David Brights Corby 25 "Kit Off" across the line.
RICK TOMLINSON PICTURES
Rick was out in his rib capturing some stunning pictures which make light airs sailing look exciting. Take a look and buy a pic or two.
RACE REPORT as seen by Kate Cope saiing the Sun Fast 3200 R2 "Puple Mist" in the Double Handed class
Moving to this weekends race report the third in the RORC spring series this time run by SORC. Co-skipper for this race was Matthew Beecher
Winds were light.... super light and set to drop even lighter so pre-race modelling stopped half way along the course with the hope we would get some sea breeze or we wouldn't finish.
The breeze started from the East and it was a downwind start to the West against the tide on the JOG line. Basically I was making no progress without an S2 and I'm not that comfortable yet gybing an S2 with boats all around and only 2m under the keel. For those of you that remember Purple Mist had a bad experience nearly hitting Egypt Point twice in a race so I'm naturally a bit cautious. Anyway the net of all that is despite a pretty good position on the start line, I let most other boats get past to give me some space to hoist and manoeuvre.
So we all set off down to Newtown creek the whole fleet trying to dodge the tide and each other. There was some hairy manoeuvres going on with one boat (you know who you are !) who owes us a beer for squeezing into the half boat width gap between me and Jet J99. Post the race I heard no less than 7 boats hit the bottom and went aground which triggers the need for a lift out and potentially expensive keel repairs so maybe being cautious is no bad thing.
Buoy 2 was a tighter leg which we though might be a zero but we stuck to the S2 and made it in one go. Our mark rounding and move to the J2 was a right old tangle... known in racing as a clusterf**k. Anyway we didnt loose too much ground and off upwind to buoy 3. Next legs were up and down the wind, the roundings varied from OK to awful, particularly the last buoy before the end. The S2 snuffer was a disaster and has since been very much banished to the naughty step and I don't think will ever get reattached. (not a moment too soon as many of my more experiences sailing friends will say!).
The last leg are what sailing dreams are made of. It started as upwind in light airs but the wind went south and very light. We immediately switched to the zero , one of the first boats to do that, and kept the boat moving .... I was worried the lead pack had already finished and we were in a world of pain but actually they had all stalled about 0.5 miles from the line.... what a shame. Also the tide had turned against them and so nature was drifting them all backwards...... oh dear the poor little lambs...... meanwhile Purple Mist was sneaking along still going forwards under the zero in a lot less tide. Then as if by magic we could see this band of wind spreading up from the south west... it was 15kts of sea breeze and going to reach us first. .... even better. In our excitement we chucked up the S2 without the pole and furled the zero. Unfortunately the S2 got caught on the bowsprit spreader but we flew it with the hole anyway ... it wasn't getting bigger and off we went on a direct line to the end.
We had no idea how we had done other than there were still 2H boats behind us on the water so we weren't last.
Imagine my delight at the results 10th from 20 boats beating the mighty Bellino for the first time ever. We also beat on the water a lot of higher rated boats - Jet J99, Chilli Pepper 3300, Diablo 3600, Jelenko 3600 and Polished manx 40.7... Hurrah for Purple Mist.
Just waiting for the final results from RORC for the series but think we have finished 7th out of 25 boats.