Medway Sonatas ~ Race Report 12th August

Saturday provided champagne sailing conditions for the ‘try a sonata’ morning. However, by the afternoon race the wind had picked up and clouds rolled over.

This lead to all boats opting for a number 2 and white sails only for the downwind start.
The whole fleet were keen to get racing with a competitive start from all and no-one being line shy (Even with an Ebb tide). Red dwarf was soo eager that they were over the line.

The fleets proceeded downriver to buoy 24. The majority of the fleet kept to white sails keeping all boats close and the racing competitive. However, Red dwarf with a lot of catching up to do (and egged on by Jonny sending a WhatsApp message while he watched from his flat), tried the kite down Gillingham reach, But No real gains were made and with a late drop, it led to riccardo being ejected out the side of the boat while putting the pole away in a gybe.

Rob picked up Riccardo, put him back on rail where he belonged and we carried on the hunt, beating up to buoy 26.

A run down to buoy 23 and the fleet had begun to get some separation the order was Watersong, screwloose, Bluetack, musical, skipper, red dwarf.

Again only Red dwarf chose to fly a spinnaker on this leg. At buoy 23, Skipper were finishing making good their reef allowing red dwarf to catch them off guard, slipping in around the mark.

The hunt continued. Upwind to buoy 26 the fleet had the choice of Hoo and Darnet island shores (or straight up the middle) at first the Hoo island shore was favourable. However later musical express’s choice of heading straight across the tide from folly to the gillingham shore allowed them to make a good gain on the fleet.

Back downwind to buoy 23 and a few more boats braved the spinnaker, even putting in some gybes!!
Unfortunately red dwarfs gybe around 23 didn’t go cleanly and ended up in a short broach.

Luckily musical express were kind to us and decided not to luff while Zoe worked hard on the foredeck to put it all back together.

The next buoy was 19 and a few broaches meant those with spinnakers quickly dropped them.

From 19 it was a beat back to 22. Strangely, again musicals choice of tacking early in the tide paid well and despite being in more tide and with a reef, they kept pace with the fleet

After 22 the fleet reached to MYA 1 before another beat back to 26. Again, the hoo island shore paid off and red dwarf ticked off a few boats who opted for Darnet island shore meaning they were back in the race next to screwloose and Watersong

Once around folly the wind got gusty and shifty making it a test for all the helms.

Buoy 26 was a tack with limited water. Watersong tacked in a strong gust and ended up being pushed quickly sideways, getting perilously close the buoy.

Again through gillingham reach there were some strong gust. However with limited tactical choices left or changes in direction no positions changed. And the finishing order was 1st Watersong, 2nd Screwloose, 3rd Red Dwarf, 4th Bluetack, 5th Musical Express, 6th Skipper.

Overall it was a very good race the fleet remained close all the way around. All boats had to make tactical decisions, and tested their boat handling skills in the strong breeze. All crews enjoyed the racing.

As a reminder, next weekend is windward leewards.