So the final race of the RORC double-handed took place last weekend. It consisted of a short 74 mile course Beelining for the port Cherbourg. I was sailing with Sam jacklin in this race, the boat captain for the Artemis Offshore academy. 5 figaros lined up for this race, the same number we had for the Fastnet.
The forecast was for a light North-westerly breeze to see us off at 1900 on Friday evening. As predicted, the start was very light and when the gun went, we were late to the start at already 50m behind the fleet. As we drifted out the Solent the boats at the front got into new breeze first and they exended their lead. We were pretty gutted at this point as it felt like the race was already over for us. A short downwind across the English Channel saw little prospects for catching up.
Still, when we went round the needles and hoisted our spinnakers towards Cherbourg, our tactics were to place ourselves slightly east of the fleet in hope of a tidal advantage at Cherbourg. Our boatspeed was good and we climbed to within a mile of the fleet. As we approached Cherbourg the tide was looking favourable to us and we had high hopes of catching up a couple of boats. But, as we got closer to the land, a thermal influence from the headland meant the breeze shifted forwards. We were forced to drop our spinnaker whilst the other boats could continue to fly them.
Frustrated, we pulled into Cherbourg at 0800 for some croissants, coffee and bad attempts at speaking French to cheer us up!
I learnt a lot from this race and although I didn’t come away with the result I had hoped for I had a fun time sailing with Sam.
Back to boat work and training now!