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Chain Locker

Malc Hitchens

24 Sept 2022

4 Gusting 5

Todays race was run by Flushing with the normal harbour committee launch start.

Forecast was 4 gusting 5 from the north. Those are the conditions we experienced with slight increase in wind strength as the afternoon progressed.

Evelyn set off with no topsail and the second Sobstab jib- not the small jib.

When setting the Sobstab jib I forgot that the luff is longer than our larger main Penrose jib. With the mast raked further back it was better than previously but we were still block to block on the cruncher and did not have enough tension on the luff -but we had to go with it.

We were the only boat without a topsail but I believe for us we had the correct rig. Possibly even the smaller jib?……come the end even a reef???

Brad did main, Jessica and Diana jib and runners, Ian, Arthur and Jessica’s Pete doing staysail and foredeck.

Course was reach to Governor from start then fairly long beat to Northbank, broad reach back to gate turning mark. 2 rounds finish Flushing.

We started downwind out the harbour in very fresh breeze back of pack with Winnie and Cousin Jinny.

We rounded  Governer with  Mabel behind. But as several boats had to give room we rounded tight on the mark and were inside Victory.  We tacked fairly early and then back onto port.

First part of the beat we had some  close tacking with  port and starboard situations but then settled into our tacks with some clear wind.

It was a good beat for us, I feel we were doing well for boat speed if not pointing quite as well as we could ( jib luff tension). We reached North Bank having fairly comfortably taken Victory, Endeavour, Rebecca , Agnes and Winnie on the beat. Mabel was still last.

We held our position to the turning mark with only Victory rounding Governor ahead with our bowsprit on her transom as we started the beat. We rounded tighter on the mark but Victory soon forced us to tack off.

Only Rebecca decided to take down her topsail on the reach to the turning mark on the first round which I feel improved her performance.

Victory stayed ahead up the second beat and Endeavour  just got ahead as well but we stayed front of Agnes, Rebecca and Winnie - and Mabel. I think on this beat the lack of sufficient tension in the jib luff definitely worked against us.

We maintained our position to the gate and the  lack of topsail made only a little disadvantage downwind as we started a port tack for the line.

Agnes had closed near the gate mark and got to windward on the beat to the line. Being overtaking boat and getting between us and the moorings, a continuous obstruction, she called water on us. I believe she should not have tried to overtake to windward and had no rights , contravening  rule 19, but nevertheless we gave her water.

With Agnes overlapping we slowed which also annoyingly allowed Rebecca to sneak through as well. But we held off Winnie finishing right  behind Rebecca and Agnes.

The top boats today, Rita, Grace, Helen Mary, Flo and Cousin Jinny had a good lead but I think we would probably been placed next on handicap.

It was a good race, (which for me made up for last week ), required good teamwork in difficult conditions with the decks regularly under water on the beat. I think we all felt we had been in a race by the end of the day!

Conclusion, I think we just about had the right sails for the conditions. Maybe we might have held our normal jib and had better luff tension but I am not sure, it could have worked against us??  If we could have got the jib fully tensioned we may well have done even better on the beats and stayed ahead to the finish.

Thanks to everyone on board today who all worked really hard - and got a little damp.

Last race tomorrow.

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