Warsash Spring Series Week 1 – 15 March 09

With Alacrity’s Non-Race Report


Six Sigma 38s made it out for the first race of the season and the fleet, sailing in IRC 3, got away in wind barely touching 5 knots and immediately headed off for a long port tack to get the tidal relief over Bramble bank. Zanzara made the early running after a good start at the pin end, but within half an hour the wind was getting lighter and more flakey as the boats starting at the port end of the line started to gain – this was going to be a close race.


The course was shortened so we only had to make it to the windward mark and a mile downwind to the finish but the wind started to switch off. On With Alacrity we ended up in a mid fleet position when we realised we were all going to be lucky to get to the windward mark and the place to be was further offshore around Flying Fish to get the change of tide that would sweep us towards the first mark near Air Canada. We tacked but it was too late as the wind died completely and everyone was inexorably carried towards Southampton water on the tide. We anchored for lunch and this helped us overtake several boats, we were catching new S38 owners in Yoda until they cunningly anchored 30 metres ahead of us.


After lunch we saw Light starting to make progress against the tide and the first sign of wind building from the West, we upped anchor and drifted towards it and eventually picked up the breeze - by virtue of spending the time at anchor we were on a hot angle to the windward mark to round a few hundred metres behind race leader Light and alongside Zanzara.  Now the real race was on – could we make it to the finish in the building breeze before the time limit at 2pm? Sadly not! We chased hard but the time ticked past too quickly and the whole fleet was out of time with Light in the lead within a quarter mile of the finish – grrrr, shame as I think we would have ended up with 3 S38s in the top 5 of IRC in a day not ideally suited to Sigma 38s. Oh well – was good to check the boat fitted back together and we had a good sail back to Hamble!