Sponsored by A Plan Marine Insurance
Up at 0400, stoke up with breakfast, meet up with crew on board at 0600, rig the boat and away to plug the tide out for an 0800 Bay start. Warm and bright with the prospect of a fast shy reach up to the Solent for the A-Plan Insurance sponsored PYRA Poole-Lymington Race. The changing forecast through the week may have deterred some from the 23 entries but nevertheless 15 boats were out on the start line.
Scudamore acted as start boat on both legs and came along in non-racing mode to enjoy the company and A-Plan hospitality.
Starting off East Hook, all classes went off on a good windward leg out to Bar Bouy before hanging a left and bearing away in a fresh breeze straight to the Lymington Finish Line. 4 or 5 hoisted to test out their shy reaching ability. Destiny blasted off with their asymmetric all the way to Lymington. A couple of the kiters were driven off deep before dropping. We carried ours for about 4 miles more or less on the rum line before it all got just a bit too edgy with the prospect of a broach wiping out anything we had gained. Very quickly up to Hurst, through the lumpy stuff doing 9.5kts over the ground and wondering if the trap was really extending out as the sandy coloured water suggested. Rehoist and run deep for the Finish Line.
A lovely sail but all over in just about 2.5 hours when a lot of folk would be finishing their weekend breakfast and wondering what to do with the day. All rafted up at Dan Bran with crews picnicking, skulking off to dark hostelries, bracing walks along the windy shore, sleeping or reading, psyching themselves up for A-Plan’s splendidly liquid rendezvous in the bandstand complete with prizes for provisional results.
Class 1 honours went to Destiny, Blue Extasy was second and Elevation chased up in 3rd. Class 2 was won by Volante ,Mojito were 2nd and Athene in 3rd place.. Class 3 went to Shebeen, chased by Skykomish ahead of Wild Rival on corrected time. Class 4 was won by Ceres followed by Firebird and Seashell.
Sunday PYRA races back to Poole invariably entail a good old windward slog and we weren’t disappointed. Your reporter doesn’t really believe in reefing but with 10 minutes to go Prudence insisted and she was right. Wild Rival (Rival 34 and winner of the ’76 OSTAR) was going to be in her element and she blasted through the start line just under us. From then on it was nip and tuck the whole way. She gives us 2 points on the rating – race on! Tack in along the shore to catch the first of the west going eddy, then out towards Hurst. Starting 5 minutes later the Class 1 boats were screaming up behind intent on slicing us tiddlers out of their way. Somehow in the cross tacking melee Wild Rival got through Hurst ahead of us but we were higher and I guess with a tidal advantage. We very slowly caught up and to windward of them. The wind was strong (our instrument was talking gibberish but Matt later told me they were regularly seeing 30kts true) and the seas were increasingly lumpy. Exactly matching Wild Rival’s speed, our tactics were simple – just keep covering her tack for tack. We did that all the way to Bar Bouy with the last tack (for us) about 1.5 miles out. We came in just slightly footing off and thinking Wild Rival might have judged it finer. But no, she needed one more short hitch right at the end allowing us to blast around , bear way unrolling the whole genny to cross the line doing over 8 kts in probably the strongest wind of the day.
Wet and bruised but brilliant fun!