There have so far been 3 events as part of this series. I am going to compete in Lyonesse R249. It is always great, the number of people who come to talk to me about the boat is amazing, initially only a few knew what it was but now (I did the series a couple of years ago in Lyonesse) many can identify her and look forward to seeing her on the water. Progress!
Race 1 was the NDYC wrecker, it was great fun but involved a swim so we did not appear particularly highly on the results sheet. Race 2 was the Penzance Pirate which I missed as I was away. Race 3, the Paignton christmas cracker was last weekend, it was amazing. We logged 12knots and felt it. We swam at several gybes which we committed to while many were tacking downwind. Needless to say it was windy! On our only upwind swim, caused by my slow reactions to the largest header I have possibly ever dealt with, we must have damaged the mast, only noticed a tack later when we got to the weak side. Fortunately we managed to stay limping on the course to the end of the pursuit race to get a finish position. Race 4 is the Porthpean Pursuit and at the moment it is looking unlikely that I will have my replacement mast in time – we will have to see.
It is an amazing 10 race series to keep you sailing right through the winter. All in the southwest and now attracting very high quality sailors and plenty of them. I would definitely recommend it. As a bonus it also gets our class out and about! Watch this space
Well the series has continued and the new mast is up and running. We were still riveting onto the mast before the Sutton Bingham Icicle. Due to bad weather forecast to arrive the race was brought forward by 30 minutes. Not what we needed! We did make the race though – sort of. We crossed the start line 6 minutes late and made it to the end without rig failure in some enormous gusts and dead patches. The wind was fluky which made trapezing particularly interesting causing a mishap or two….
The event after the Sutton Bingham Icicle was the Portishead Channel Chop. Portishead is a great venue offering some really interesting short waves and tidal currents giving us plenty to think about… even some shipping!
The Chanel chop had a smaller turnout in comparison to some of the others, possibly because it is a newer venue or possibly because it is on the sea, I don’t know but it is one of my favourites.
There are just three more events to go in the series, one per weekend this March; The Starcross Steamer, The Exmoor Beastie and The Torbay Tornado to wrap up. The Steamer is a tidal challenge on the twisty river and is always oversubscribed having to limit the field to 100 boats! The Beastie is a challenging tree surrounded reservoir where you need your wits about you but a great adventure and the Tornado has a spectacular open sea area with consistent winds and rolling waves. This is a perfect example of how great and diverse the series it.
The results are currently sitting us at 7th of 136. I am pleased with this but when you take a closer look you can see that attendance is a huge part of this in many ways. With 3 more races to go, a lot can change so lets see what happens.
4 thoughts on “Sailing South West Winter Series”
Sadly R249 is still without her replacement mast and so is unable to race today at the Porthpean Pursuit race. Optimism remains that it could come this week to allow some racing over the Christmas holidays.
The mast has now been created and has been sent for anodising but will not be ready until the sometime the week beginning the 7th of Jan. No Christmas holiday sailing for R249 then.
Mast update: R249 still sits dormant in the shed as SuperSpars have still not managed to finish creating her new mast. The mast has now been on order for 6 weeks and although Christmas will have slowed the process down, I have already missed several races and a few travelling events. If it was the summer the main part of the season could have passed in this time! I hope its ready soon! The next proper event is the Sutton Bingham Icicle as part of the Sailing SW Winter Series on the 26th. Lets hope I can be there.
We are sailing! I managed to collect my new replacement mast on Friday and got sailing in the Sutton Bingham Icicle as part of the Sailing SouthWest Series on Saturday.
It was all a bit hectic and such a short amount of sleep available to achieve a really short turnaround. We arrived at Sutton Bingham still attaching fittings to the mast. The race was moved 30 minutes earlier to avoid the heavy winds that were forecast to arrive towards the end of the race. When we found this out, we then had 45 minutes to complete assembling the mast, rigging and changing. Sadly we were 6 minutes late to the start but were really pleased to make it out on the water!
The winds were directionally shifty with large gust and lull areas. Despite the conditions though we had a great sail, Karen and I started to get used to sailing together again and really enjoyed the day. The results were never going to be good after such a late start but at that point, the results were no longer our main aim for the session.
Stay tuned for some guidance on boat setup and things that I have learnt from setting this mast up ready.