2015 Campaign

Campaigning for the 2015 AZAB Race & Rolex Fastnet Race

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Myth of Malham Race

This race certainly lived up to expectation with close racing, especially against the J109 fleet.  As we rounded the Eddystone light, J-Taime were about 3nm ahead with Jolene II less than a mile behind and several others in hot pursuit with spinnakers flying in all their glory.  As we approached Start Point we headed inshore to pick up the turn of the tide.  But as the wind dropped under the cliffs we began to regret the tactic.  However without too much damage done we continued the chase, changing down from spinnaker to Jib Top early for a fast reach across Lyme Bay.

Having stayed with the peloton, the race was in the balance as we approached St Albans.  With up to 3kts of tide against us over the ledge we chose to stay close inshore under the cliffs.  Code 0 hoisted but remained furled, thankfully as the breezed picked up.  By this stage both J-Taime & Jolene were just ahead of us and slightly offshore.  But we stuck to our gameplan, and stayed in close to the cliffs to keep out of the tide.  As we emerged into Swanage Bay we just managed to squeeze past J-Taime.  Behind us the wind dropped slightly and the chasing pack struggled to keep up against the tide - we'd squeezed through just in time.

Then we switched tactics and headed slightly more offshore than the rest of the fleet.  Picking up a wind shift in the closing miles, with a quick change from Code 0 to A2 spinnaker we just managed to creep ahead, crossing the line 10 minutes ahead of the other J109s.

The J109 fleet certainly offers exciting racing. With only four of us onboard it is hard to keep up such high levels of concentration.  Off watch sleep is interrupted to help with sail changes adding to the challenge.  And without the benefit of the autopilot that we are so used to double-handed we are all aching from the time spent on the helm.

After two RORC races we are currently leading the J109s in the series.  We have set a high benchmark for the Fastnet Race - bring it on......

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Myth of Malham - race to the Eddystone Light

The RORC Myth of Malham race to the Eddystone Light and back is living
up to expectation. The Western Solent set the scene for the rest of the
first leg with light northerly beezes competing against the
Southwesterly seabreeze. At one point, as we tried to cross the
transition we caused much alarm, squeezing between two fishing boats.
But it is a fine line between success and failure with one yacht aground
off Lepe Spit and another hooked up to a fishing bouy off Lymington.

Overnight the wind died off Portland and with a sense of deja vue we
started drifting back towards Brighton. Rather than kedge in 60m depths
we persisted searching for a breeze. Eventually there was enough breeze
for the new Code 0.

As I write, we are approaching the famous lighthouse surround by the
usual suspects, many of them J109s. So we look forward to a hotly
contested race back to Prawle Point under spinnaker and a fast reach
across Lyme bay ans the northerly breeze fills in again.

Spirits are high as we have been enjoying some of Jeremy's "Souvide"
vegan dinners and flapjack to match the usual M&S variety. Looking
forward to breakfast as we finish the race just outside the Solent, near
Hurst Point on Monday morning.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

RORC Cervantes race

The season is off to a good start with the RORC Cervantes race to Le
Havre. Departing from the normal double handed campaigns we had a crew
of four on board. From the off it was already starting to feel a little
crowded in the cockpit and we found ourselves having to dance around
each other below decks. But we soon settled down into a rythm with
Jeremy helming us to a great start towards the Needles with spinnaker
flying before running to St Albans. Then rounding up to a long beat SE
across the channel to Le Havre. The fleet all headed off on port tack
towards Cherbourg in anticipation of the wind shift. Timng the tack
east toward Le Havre on that wind shift was the most tactical part of
the race. We were delighted to find ourselves aprroaching Le Havre
leading a pack of J109s. Finishing 8th in Class 3 we are pleased with
the first phase of qualifying for the Fastnet and developing ourselves
as a team. Next race at the end of May to Eddystone and back.

Richard, Jeremey, Trevor & Paul