Sunsail Race Series #7, 9th - 10th October 2010
Nick Bowles (skipper), Phil Armitage (mate, driver), Emily Shrosbree, Stefan Berg, Melanie Clark, Sue Whitehill.
Another breezy weekend, easterly this time, and despite some mist and gloom on Saturday morning, predominately sunny. 13 boats entered.
The second race saw the tide building. These were big, big springs and getting close inshore was essential on the upwind legs. With only 6 crew and short legs we stuck to white sails downwind. Maybe a bit cautious but this time we managed 7th.
We headed into Portsmouth harbour against a massive ebb. There was a fleet of Victorys struggling against the tide with a mixture of small outboards and wind power. There were a few close calls. We put into Haslar where we managed to sneak in front of a nice looking Dufour to grab our berth on the visitors' pontoon. It turned out to be Sea Essay with Dave Price in charge.
We took the ferry to Portsmouth where Emily took us on a magical mystery tour, at the end of which we had fish and chips in the Still & West in old Portsmouth.
The final race started at Darling and for some reason we were discussing spinnakers when we should have been going for the line. The result was another "clear air" start. We had an interesting race with Sunsail 4, swapping places by quite large margins: the complicated tides coming out of Portsmouth harbour were a navigator's challenge. Anyway the final leg was a long one from Vail Williams to North Sturbridge so we went for a kite hoist. This proved problem-free until the shortened finish where some confusion over the mark rounding and the tide led to a very close wriggle round the mark. Our final position is not clear at this point as the results show us as retiring. Maybe we were disqualified for some reason. We should find out later.
The day ended with a gorgeous sunset over Portchester as we drove away from Port Solent. Another good weekend.
Results: 9th, 7th, 6th, 14th. 9th Overall.