Conditions for my second trip to Cherbourg this year were an improvement on the first, with a not quite so chilly NE 4-5 to blow me there, and a 100% coefficient spring tide, which meant I could get a long way east before the ebb, in case the wind veered into the east as per the forecast.
It already seems an age ago that Saskia VII was picking up the Frostbite Trophy on Boxing Day. After suffering a foresail failure and having to do a head sail change bare headed on the final beat they hung on to take the trophy under NHC.
It was only 3 months ago yet so much has changed in the keelboat class. With the majority of Weymouth Sailing Club boats taking the opportunity to get an IRC ticket, club racing this season sees a new era of keelboat racing starting at Weymouth SC.
Having slept on board, I found the cold and Condor made me get up at 0430 on Saturday morning, put on an unlikely quantity of clothes and set off into the blackness beyond the harbour mouth and the serious chill of a brisk nor-nor-easterly. Masochism or what? The wind did at least mean that I could bear away and get sailing just beyond the stone pier – destination France, at last!
In the course of my studies I happened upon this account of a weekend regatta in Cherbourg in 1831, which illustrates the beginnings of the warm friendships between English and French yachting folk, after centuries of national disagreements, which have since been expressed far more creatively in the keenest competition in yacht racing.
Walk two of the strangely titled Squib Walks was completed last Sunday. You dont have to have or sail a Squib and its more of a ramble than a walk.
More importantly it always ends at a pub!
There was a great turn out for a interesting and inspiring talk by Phil Kirk on their amazing record breaking circumnavigation of mainland Britain in a Wayfarer dinghy. The Longshed was filled with 70 WSC members and others from Sutton Bingham and Lyme Regis Sailing Clubs. Phil gave us a good idea of the preparations and planning and then made it sound easy to complete the journey in 32 days and 3 hours, that’s half the previous time also set in a Wayfarer . 30+ people enjoyed a meal first. £170 was collected for the RNLI and Pappa Fund
Saturday 5th February witnessed the first of the IRC measurement sessions at the club, with club members Steve Pitman working upstairs in the club room and Richard Woof in the Longshed. Both are qualified RYA sail measurers, and alongside them Steve Homan Berry and Iain Jones painstakingly took down the details and uploaded them to the IRC site.
It's important to keep warm and dry when cruising in the winter months, and what better way of doing so than coming along on Saturday evening to WSC's Cruising Evening next Saturday, 7th February, at 7.30pm?
Most will be aware that the event was booked for the Prince Regent but they reneged on their commitment a few weeks before Christmas and therefore the hunt was on to find an acceptable venue. The Crown Hotel came up trumps.
It was a classic case of the swan elegantly swimming above the surface whilst a few frantically beavered below the surface to ensure a successful event.
Monday: Having been third at the runway mark just after the start yesterday, 'Raging Bee' (15) stayed a bit south of the pack and ahead of it, while 'McDo' 6) remained closer to the rhumb line. Jean-Pierre Kelbert's '3D Developpeurs' developed an early lead and is going fast.
Tuesday: Space is opening up between the boats: a big move to the right by 'Raging Bee' (6) put her to the north of '3D' with 'McDo' (7) opting to move a bit further south. It looks as if there will be a stronger airflow to the south in the next few days.