Busy weekend, strong westerly winds gave us the opportunity to start the Myth of Malham race from the north end of the RYS line and with a strong ebbing tide we were spot on for the start and led IRC Class 3 away. However as the owner was unable to join the boat until Friday evening we had already decided to retire from the 230 nm thrash to Eddystone and back (but still gaining 10 series points). As lead boat we were dropping foul air onto the boats to leeward so eased all sheets and let the fleet sail past. We continued west under #3 and single reef in 22 kts with gusts in the high 20's and headed for the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy where we joined up with the J109 National Championship for day 2 and 3 of the event. In the end many boats had damage due to gusts of +30 kts recorded on the yacht instruments and we saw a number of mainsails disintegrate, a small number of boat on boat collisions. As a result Saturnday afternoon saw many owners and cres carrying out boat maintenance. Due to the conditions the organisers only managed to get in 4 races. It was evident that whilst we are strong on the offshore events where the yachts maintenance has ensured she is well prepard for whatever is thrown at us, our crew reaction on the other hand inshore on short windward / leeward races needs improvement. Having said that the boat was on the pace after retuning the Sparcraft rig on Saturday evening and 3 out of the 4 starts we were in the top 2-3 boats... just need to get the finishes to match now!
Richard Nicolson - Sailing West to East across the North West Passage in aid of the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.
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