The forecast was for sunny weather with a blustery 15-20 from the SE and that is exactly what we got. Unlike last week when we had 10-15 with gusts of 20, this was another click up on the weather front and proved to be an exciting and all-round excellent day to go sailing.
Four squibs took the line however unlike last week when we all crossed together, just a couple of seconds after the hooter went, this week the fleet wasn’t so hot. Bryony’s excellent on-the-line camera work showed that Black Mark made a great start but the rest of us were some way off. Monkey Business were next, some 10 second behind with Legend a further 5 seconds behind them and with Sandy Cheeks bringing up the rear. In Sandy Cheeks’ defense they were the only team brave enough to fly the kite on this tricky first leg down river to Wilsonians.
Here it would be kites down for the fetch up to Gillingham and then a beam reach over to 26, the first mark of the course. Sandy Cheeks, again determined to fly her kite at every opportunity were the only team to fly their kite on this leg with mixed results, it certainly looked exciting from where we were sitting.
Not sure it was a good or bad thing to do really because although they managed to work their way into second Legend had pulled a bit of a lead with just two sails up and Black Mark and Monkey Business had slowed each other up, having a race of their own, which let them slip buy.
The kite would help on the next leg of the course though, the run down to MYA1, and indeed everyone elected to fly their kites down this leg. Legend, Black Mark and Monkey Business chose to sail the shortest distance down the middle with Sandy Cheeks taking the longer route along Hoo Island but out of the tide.
At the mark the shorter distance boats came out on top although there wasn’t much in it, and from here it was the first of two beats back up to 26. On Legend we had the sails fully depowered but were still having to wrestle the boat in the gusts, and with plenty of spray coming over the front to keep the crew awake it was a rewarding if hard work leg of the course.
As good as the sail was however the race kind of fizzled out from this point on. Legend slowly increased its lead on Sandy Cheeks, who in turn pulled clear of the battling Black Mark and Monkey Business and although I’m sure they were having a good race of their own we couldn’t really keep track of what was going from on board Legend so it’s hard to report on their battle although Black Mark came out on top where it matters most, at the line.
After the race however everyone had smiles, although they were salty and windswept, on their faces so regardless of the race itself, it had proved to be a great days sailing for all.
A video of the race can be found here