Sunday, 18 August 2013

Racing in heavy weather

Taking in a reef
Saturday morning bought strong and blustery SW winds. About sixty gaffers set out bravely to race in the Solent and presented a fine sight. There were several press boats in attendance and they must have got some excellent pictures. This photo was taken by Sam Scott. Sam, Vicky and Ant followed the fleet in a launch. In the picture we are in the process of taking in yet another reef in the mainsail.

Everyone had a wet and exciting sail. Unfortunately there was some damage and a few collisions. At least two boats became entangled with the race marks while another became entangled with fishing gear laid next to one of the marks. A fair number of boats retired due to the stress of weather.

Bonita had D, Tim and John helping out. We had a somewhat wet sail with a fair bit of water flowing over the deck which washed the scrubbing brush overboard. Apart from that mishap Bonita took it well. There were some dramatic photos taken of her leaping from wave to wave such as this posted on Facebook by Nic Compton. We hope to post some more race photos in this blog in due course.

After everyone had got back safely there was a prize-giving in the marina. Bonita came around the middle of the field as she often seems to. Of the RBC boats, Witch and Annabel J both did well winning prizes. The round Britain boats all are carrying a lot of extra gear and may have grown a bit of weed in the last four months, so any success against the local racers is impressive.

video
The video shows replica whaling boat Molly, one of the few open boats to complete the course. At the end of the upwind leg we overtook her while her crew had a lengthy break to bail her out but once she was emptied they resumed the race and stormed by us in fine, if precarious, form.

It looks as though tomorrow may be quite windy as well, but we plan to head back to the Swale soon.