May Pursuit Race

The May pursuit race was entered by Free Will, Lindos, Pinch of Thyme, Comrades, Mahalo, Penny Diamond and JDV. The conditions on the day were quite blustery and promised to provide us with a fast race. Unfortunately Lindos had engine problems in the morning and had to retire but the rest of us carried on into the Bay.

The course was set as a pursuit race using C1-C2 as the start line, heading up to the 10 foot bank mark and across to the Orme Long Outfall buoy and returning to C2. Comrades started first and was allowed to use 1000 revs on the upwind leg as long as he sailed a proper course and kept his sails full.

As we set out it became obvious it wasn’t a full sail day and most of us reefed. JDV however decided he liked horizontal sailing and gave us all a good view of the underside of his boat. He must have been very proud of the finish on his antifoul… It was Free Will’s first race and with a guest crew on board we were all getting used to the heavier sails as we raced but on a straight run she powered through the waves and behaved admirably in the fresh winds.

Free Will was the first to reach the 10 foot bank and Penny Diamond and Pinch of Thyme made it together, even though they took different routes around Puffin. The speed across the Bay was fantastic on a broad reach with Pinch of Thyme recording 9.5 knots and drawing ahead of Penny Diamond and closing on Free Will who just made the Long Outfall in the lead. The last leg was directly upwind towards C2 and we initially set off on Starboard tack before switching to Port tack after a mile or so. Unfortunately on Free Will we made a total hash of the tack as we got a riding turn on the winch which left us stranded with Pinch bearing down on us and having to take avoiding action when we failed to make any headway. Note to self to be prepared to start the engine in emergencies and get moving out of the way….

Pinch deservedly went on to win the race and Free Will took second place with Penny Diamond third. Mahalo and JDV came fourth and fifth with Comrades retiring.

Overall it was a fantastic days sailing and our guests commented that it was the best sail they had ever had.

This is a little video of the action on board Free Will, excluding close shaves….

And one of JDV going well on the reach from 10′ bank to long outfall:

Lets hope the Spring Cruise brings equally good sailing.

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