RORC Race to Le Harve - 1st May 2010

RORC Race to Le Havre 1st May 2010

Crew PJ plus Phil Everett, Nick Tilt, Ed Lock, Eddie Pope, Fran Dibben

A good start on the Squadron end of the line proved disappointing by our arrival at the forts, with everything to do on spinnaker leg in freshening breeze, we accomplished recovering the Doyle spinnaker and replacing it with the small heavy weather sail, making up places all the time.

Rounding the Owers we changed back to the Doyle for a good leg to Rustington.

Keeping inshore and out of the tide we climbed up the fleet to East Borough where with an easing of sheets we set out for A5 and Le Havre.

Fast sailing pulled us away from Yeoman and Malice until a slackening of the wind. A rash sail change to code zero saw us fall away to the East and lose ground. A tack to make ground to the West saw us getting back into the fleet and a good rounding of A5 with a fast sail to the finish at 0430 hours. Beat Cajou IMX 40 by over one hour! Yeoman and Malice second and third. What might have been?

After pork pies, red wine and a short sleep we had a delicious lunch in the Le Havre Yacht Club before returning to the boat and setting out for the return passage to Hamble. Mike Sisley of Exocet joined the crew and proved a valuable addition with solid helming on the way back on 30 to 45 kts of wind.

Timing of tides and wind direction saw us reach the Needles after a tough night sail proving demanding for the crew.

A fetch down the Solent and beat to Hamble River we docked at 1100 hrs. All safe.

Good work by all the crew with solid helms in the race, Phil and Fran as well as Mike Sisley on the return. Good work on the spinnaker, mast and foredeck by Nick and Ed Lock. A successful debut by Eddie Pope who kept going through sickness as several others! (No names).

Thanks to Phil and Nick for help on baling out and galley cleaning after return.

So thanks to all. 200 miles logged and climbing the learning curve of offshore sailing in strong winds!

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