The day that time Wayfarer sailors stood still. Collective class brain fade!!
Saturday 16th May looked sparkling with sunshine and plenty but not too much breeze. A low spring tide was forecast for the end of the race so finding enough water was always going to be a challenge. Several boats were gently bimbling as they rigged showing no sign of any urgency. The boats then launched but had to sail out of the marina and upwind to the platform against the enthusiastic ebb tide.
Only 2 boats got anywhere near the platform when the flag went up, Class captain Phil crewed by Derek and Bruce with Terry crewing.
Phil did not have a course book with him; Bruce counted down 5 minutes from the 4 minute gun.
Studland Seahorse and Black Pearl rounded the end of the marina wall at about the 4 minute gun.
Pork Pie Chaser, Captain Jack and some others all launched around this time.
From Studland Seahorse we could work out the start time by when the Dolphins started, Phil led the 2 ‘early’ Wayfarers round the laid inflatable mark and Rebbecks. Even though Rebbecks was to be rounded to starboard, Phil’s lack of a course book led him to round it to port and head downwind and tide with the kite up. Bruce rounded correctly so Sapphire decided to return and unwind and pursue Bruce. Meanwhile Studland Seahorse had worked out that they needed to chase hard and managed to get the course down as they sailed past the box despite a stationary Fireball doing their best to make this difficult. We crossed the line just before the 1 minute for the following class so probably 3.30 late. From this we can see that Phil lost about that amount of time due to his navigational error as both boats left Rebbecks together for the beat to Morris Lane.
Back in the start area the remaining boats were sailing around waiting for the warning signal to be hoisted even though they arrived about 15 minutes after it had appeared. We can confirm that there is a shallow patch of gravel about 20 meters offshore of Morris Lane.
On the down tide spinnaker run from Morris Lane to Ellis Jones, complacency on Manalishi meant that they gave up some of the tide benefit to minimise the number of gybes meaning that at Ellis Jones they had the white boat close enough to be a threat about 10 boat lengths astern.
A beat against the tide dodging the moored boats ensued with lots of tacks by the trailing boat and covering tacks by Manalishi. They executed one of these perfectly but Studland Seahorse managed to escape eventually by ‘wiping off’ the cover by tacking behind a moored boat once Bruce was committed to the other side. These 2 continued the battle till Studland Seahorse picked a good shift and managed to establish a modest lead round Hamish for the run to Glovers.
After Glovers Bruce and Terry sailed over the shoal with both centreplate and rudder up (about 8 inches of water). To gain some good tidal relief and repass Studland Seahorse, with this being the finishing order with Phil and Derek third.
In the club house afterwards nobody could explain the collective poor timekeeping as the start time has been the same on Saturdays for years.
Kind regards, Geof Gibbons