Sonatas Race Report 20th May 2023

Sonatas Race Report from Watersong 20th May 2023

For the final race of the Early Spring series we were met by a brisk Northerly to challenge the Race officials and participants.
All boats sensibly rigged the No2 – although we rather optimistically hanked on the Genoa before very quickly thinking better of it. It was definitely No 2 weather for even the heavy weight crews amongst us.
The course was set between the dolphin at 24 and the entrance to South Yarnet Creek which led the fleet into some unknown waters – more of that in Race 2.

The keen-eyed among you may have observed that, for the first race, Course A had been displayed by the Committee boat. Consequently, there would be no spreader mark. This raised the question: Which mark was designated as our windward mark? Thankfully, clarification was provided over the radio. However, one wonders what the Dragons, who had started ahead of us thought they were doing.
Judging the last tack to the windward mark proved crucial and we were helped by some lifts to scrape round once but needed a short tack to get us round the next.

In Race 2, we found ourselves sailing very close to the South shore where in a surprising 2 metres of water we hit something fairly solid. Perhaps a wreck, as it stopped us dead. All over to the leeward side with just the jib drawing we managed to extricate ourselves only to drop into another trap! Even more weight to leeward – stanchion bases well under water by now – we got out. We had a look at the damage after the race on the Di which revealed a loss of paint extending six inches up the keel, fortunately with the keel joint remaining intact!

Race 3 saw us closely pursued by Skipper showcasing great upwind speed. We had the advantage with the spinnaker work as we only ever drop into the cockpit bag now unless we are short-handed or unsure what side the next hoist will be. The course necessitated a windward drop at the leeward mark as the spinny should always be hoisted from the port side when you are on a starboard tack rounding the mark. Windward drops are not something we have done too much in the past so a little nervous. However in some ways it’s even easier than the normal leeward drop – good to know.

Advantages of the cockpit drop – quicker hoists, later drops, very unlikely to get a twist, crew jobs split more evenly and no crew up at the pointy end of the boat for a long period of time packing a spinnaker into a little bag!
Disadvantages – it’s better to hoist from the leeward side rather than try windward hoists which can very easily go wrong – so you need to work out which side it’s needed before you drop. You can damage the spinnaker (have you seen ours!!!) where it’s being pulled down into the hatch – so make sure all sharp edges are taped up so it all runs smoothly. If you need any help working all this out please come and chat to us or the White Noise gang as they are the experts!

All in all some great sailing over the 3 races, congratulations and many thanks to the Race Committee boat in running a very efficient afternoon of races in some blustery yet great sailing conditions.