So quite a memorable Island Cup!
As the day approached the forecast gradually deteriorated from a perfect F3-4 WSW to a challenging F1-2 NNE. Not that that deterred anyone and it was impressive to see 11 boats lined up for the beach start which was necessitated by not having enough wind to keep up-tide (south) of the usual club start line.
At the signal the fleet drifted off in the tide at some speed with Matt and Alex taking the lead by making the most of the apparent wind mid-stream. The first leg to Langstone Sailing Club was slow with visible areas of flat calm and light breeze over much of Langstone Harbour. First to cross the finish line in just under 54 minutes was Richard and Charlie (Nacra Infusion F18) followed by Brian and Ian (Hurricane 5.9). Not far behind was the Dart 18 of Robin and Mark who crossed the line in a handicap busting 1 hour and 2 minutes. The rest of the fleet followed in dribs and drabs with the last boat completing the first leg a full 1 hour and 15 minutes after the first. It was one of those days...
After some deliberation over whether to head back or carry on, the OOD went with the older and wiser (?) majority to continue with the second leg. Another beach/shore start saw the fleet head off into Chichester Harbour in the direction of darkening skies and the odd distant rumble of thunder. With little help from the tide, everyone made it out past Sandy Point into the open sea where a steady F2-3 southerly breeze suggested the race might end on a high. Of course that was not to be. After a brief but heavy downpour the wind died almost to nothing. By this time the East Winner was drying out and those that came to try their luck in the deeper water by the shore found the lagoon now closed off from the Langstone Harbour entrance. Three boats bravely attempted to go around the Winner but shallow water, lack of wind and the ebbing tide meant that nobody made it all the way home under sail. Those contemplating a long wait to re-float or an arduous carry/drag across the sand were saved by the club tractor with road trailer in tow (thanks Ken!). And when the club tractor got stuck, it in turn was saved by the beast of a pickup belong to Woody's crew (thanks Allan!).
Having spent much of the afternoon frantically checking the lightning strike app on his phone, the OOD was much relieved to see all boats and crew safely back at the club (never any danger...).
Many thanks to Barrie and Neil for their long and arduous stint on the safety boat, to Jonny and Penny for doing a great job with the launch trolleys, and to Cathy, Clive and Paul for helping out. And to all the sailors for turning up and taking part.
As no boat completed the second leg under sail, the Island Cup this year is awarded based on 1st leg finishing position and so goes to Robin and Mark - congratulations!
I didn't realise that the Island Cup has been going since 1964. Although not run every year it's impressive that we have an event that's been going for over half a century. Long may it continue!
|FX One||D||310||Clive W||13:35:45||6945||9398||9|
|Dart 18||B||5191||Matt W||Alex||13:44:15||7455||9004||DNF|