Round the Island Race 2008 - 28th June - 28th June 2008

Crew – PJ plus Richard Rous, John Parker, Nick Tilt, Sue Verschoyle, Marcus Tilt, James Burbidge, Phil Elkin, Gawein Geraedts, Ben Newman, Ant Garrett, Stephen Lamdin, Al Draper.

Start 0630 hrs RYS line Cowes.

Positioned two cables from the outer distance mark, West Bramble, In X Celsis, with the skipper at the helm, again made a great start, on the line at the gun.

A competitive first beat to Gurnard Bay saw In X Celsis in a small group at the front of the fleet. Successive tacks, with the crew working hard on the rail, saw the yacht pointing high and sailing past to windward of other yachts put about by a call of “starboard”!

In around 25 kts. of wind, John Parker working mainsheet and Richard Rous on tactics combined well to keep up boat speed and position on the water for a clear beat past Yarmouth and Fort Victoria. In company with several Beneteau 40.7s, the Needles were rounded 2 hours after the start.

The passage to St. Catherine’s was made inshore of the majority of the fleet on a tight spinnaker reach with John Parker taking over the helm. This tactic paid of as we steadily climbed the offshore fleet, suffering stronger opposing tide. Round St Catherine’s the course eased to a broader reach with some exciting surges to 15 kts. through the water on sizeable waves.

The jibe was accomplished successfully as we passed Dunnose Head and were able to lay a course for Bembridge Ledge Cardinal mark, now sailing fast at 10 to 12 kts.with a favourable tide and Richard Rous on the helm. The chance to take food and water saw the issue of sandwiches, apples and chocolate to restore crew energy!

Rounding “No Man’s Land” fort, it was clear we were well to the front of our fleet and with careful tacking up to Ryde Pier, keeping out of the East going tide, further inshore tacks up to Osborne Bay saw us again making ground away from following yachts and on yachts ahead who elected to stay out in the adverse tide.

With the finish in sight, round Norris Castle and two more tacks inshore saw us laying the finishing line sailing fast.

The finishing time of 7 hours and 2 minutes saw us gain 8th place of 65 starters in the IRC Division B and achieve a record position finish for the yacht.

Congratulations and thanks to all the crew. A great sail!


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