Wave Train - photograph copyright Hamo Thornycroft

Sunsail Race Series Final, 6th - 8th November 2009

Nick Bowles (skipper), Bill Taylor (mate and nav), Sue Whitehill, Tony Hinton, Tracey Hindmarsh, Emily Shrosbree, Mike Yogarajah.

Sunsail 19

This was a bit different to the usual Sunsail event - it was already dark when we picked up the boat on Guy Fawkes night for one thing; and the marina at Port Solent was eerily quiet, it being a Thursday in November.

The final was to be three races on Saturday so, in order to make a respectable showing we had arranged a practice on Friday, and a day of cruising on Sunday just to wind down.

We'd hoped to get some spinnaker practice in on Friday as we were a mix of old hands and relative newcomers where racing was concerned, but it was just too windy. Instead we concentrated on reefing, tacking and gybing practice. Never mind, if the forecast turned out to be accurate then it was likely that the race organisers would call a compulsory "no spinnakers" rule and we'd all be competing on equal terms.

As it happened Saturday was rather nice with sunshine all day and F4/5 winds. One or two of the other boats had troubles with broaches, wraps and even ripped spinnakers, but we were the only ones who didn't use one at all. Invevitably we lost a lot of ground on the long downwind legs and when the results were posted up we were in last place overall. However to keep this result in context we were a mixed-ability crew up against the top-placed boats throughout the series.

And so ended a successful season in the Sunsail Race Series. We'll be having another go next year, so watch the programme page for dates.

Tracey at the helm for the third race.


Bearing away

Sunsail 29
Bill and Emily
Race Tracks
Emily, Tony and Sue
Port Solent