24th September, 2016 – Hamble Classics Regatta

  • Start position – RSrnYC
  • Start time – 09:40
  • Start engine hrs – 618.9
  • Towards – RSrnYC
  • ETA –
  • Finish position – RSrnYC
  • Finish time – 14:25
  • Finish engine hrs – 620.8
  • Distance travelled – 24nm
  • Skipper – Richard
  • Crew – Louise, Tim A, Lyn A, Brian C
  • Weather – S4-6
  • Tide – HW Portsmouth 06:10, 18:40
    • np->sp 14%
  • New faults –

It’s a calm morning on the Hamble, but with a strong breeze forecast. We make the most of the club’s full cooked breakfast.

The race briefing is straightforward and confirms that the bigger boats shouldn’t expect a river finish. Tim and Lyn join us on time and we put a reef in before departure. Just before we go Brian, of ‘Winifred‘, appears. It’s too windy for his boat, so he joins us.

Leaving the Hamble we pass ‘Jolie Brise’, who have ended up high and dry on Hamble Spit, on the falling tide. It’s a long slog motoring directly into the breeze for an hour to the starting area near ‘East Bramble’. The start is delayed for competitors to arrive. While the Gaff 1 class have turned up in force, many others have not. The 6 planned starts are combined into 2, but eventually we’re away.

Sophie’ leads the fleet off on a reaching start. We bear away, pass Sir Robin Knox Johnson in ‘Suhaili’ and chase after ‘Sophie’. At the first mark she hardens on to the wind and stops. We poke up inside her, but can’t point that high and tack off into clear air. From there on the two of us battle at the front of the fleet, with the rest dropping away behind. ‘Sophie’ seems to be a little over powered, so we gain upwind, they close up downwind. As we start the last downwind leg Louise asks whether we still need the reef. There’s no more beating, so we shake it out and hold ‘Sophie’ off. We round the mark first, then it’s a reach to the finish and all we’ve got to do is stay between them and the line. The difference is 14s on the water, corrected to just over 1 minute on handicap, after 2hrs of hard racing.

After all that excitement, it’s lunch on board at the mooring, then the pontoon rum party and dinner in the yacht club. A great start to the regatta, only slightly marred by discovering that ‘Cormorant’ has beaten us into second place, after a mistake with their handicap rating.

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