We had four squibs take to the line for what would be a breezy course 71. This would take us down to 23, back up to 26 then back to 22 and home…. With a few other marks thrown in to keep it interesting.
The forecast was for 10-15 knots from the NE but we actually had more like 15 to 20 for much of it with perhaps a touch more on the run back home. Certainly as we came back along Gillingham reach with the kite up and with Legend really wanting, but alas unable, to plane I looked behind to a sea of white horses thinking that if we didn’t already have the kite up I’m not sure we would be doing this! But I’m getting ahead of myself. At the gun the race almost immediately really separated into two separate races with Sandy Cheeks and Legend getting the jump on Monkey Business and White Knuckles and the two groups slowly drifted apart In the puffs. Not helped by MB and WK going down Gillingham reach on the south shore and losing out to SC and Le who hugged the mud on the North.
From here on I can really only talk about SC and Le as the groups separated but in our race SC always seemed to have a tiny bit more boat speed but with the extra experience of sailing on the Medway allowing Le to keep in touch. At 23, probably worried about the extra responsibility of having to write yet another race report SC rounded the mark the wrong way. Le were happy to let them know this fact after they had got in front and lead from this point on.
At 26 the two boats separated with SC going hard right to keep out of the tide and Le going down the middle of the channel, sailing the shortest course but when they arrived at 22 they were still both close together. From here it was a tight spinnaker leg up to 24 and then a run home with the boats always within hailing distance.
Turned out to be a great sail and in our boat, for the first time in a race, we pulled every single piece of string, most more than once, and nearly always really hard !!