Photos from Ron Gentle, Julie Nicholas and Matchmaker
From the deck of Matchmaker
Studying forecasts before the race it was apparent that the sail up to Cowes was going to be a hard slog against a fresh to strong easterly wind and that the return race to Poole was going to be another hard slog against a fresh to strong south-westerly wind!
Wisely a decision was taken to start the race in Brownsea Roads. Destiny was the committee boat and the Royal Motor Yacht Club line was used. 7 boats from class I , 7 from class 2, 4 from class 3 and 2 from class 4, set off, and none from class 5. It was a long hard sail with the fastest class I, Flair V taking 4 hrs 24 mins, and Shed of Arjuna taking 6 hrs 14 mins. The class 2 boats varied between 5 hrs 15 mins and 5 hrs 36 mins. Class 3 were not far behind. Class 4 took just over 6 hours. We were all relieved to arrive!
For Round the Island we were promised a hot day with an easterly breeze. Compared with previous years it was a late start, for ISCRS Fleet 7 it was 09:00. Spinnakers were hoisted but the breeze soon became fickle. Spinnakers were held to the Needles where it became difficult to maintain boat speed, particularly on starboard into the chop. Approaching St Catherine’s the wind picked up for the beat to Dunnose and then died across Sandown Bay. Many competitors retired and motored the rest of the way. Others persevered and managed to finish within the 22:30 time-limit. The wind did eventually fill in from the Southwest and with the tide turning fair enabled some of those that hung on to get a finish. (We put the engine on at 18:30!)
The race back to Poole was a beat all the way, but with the tide under us all the way! A vast improvement from the race up. It was a beat in the Solent and from Hurst we were able to lay East Looe. The wind was F4, not as much as we had anticipated, but on the approach to Poole picked up just a little.