Created: 14 Oct 2013 11:24
Updated: 13 Oct 2017 10:38
Autumn Sailing

The winter season has started! Despite dire forecasts of wind and rain for Saturday we had very pleasant, sunny, sailing conditions. The wind and rain that had been forecast blew through on Friday night and we woke to a bright sailing day. Unfortunately the wind had also changed direction from that forecast when the courses were set meaning that there was minimal beating during the day. I know that "gentlemen do not sail to windward" but we need some challenges to sort the good from the bad and the ugly.

As the start time approached we could pick out all the familiar boats, many who had not been seen since last March, gathering around the start at South Ryde Middle buoy. A total of 13 boats took part in the first Fast Cruise. At 1100 the fleet sailed north in about 20 knots of wind towards East Bramble with Solid Air leading the pack. The start of the flood tide helped lift boats towards the buoy and with the wind shift only a short tack of a couple of hundred metres on port tack were necessary to leave East Bramble to port and set off to West Ryde Middle on a spinnaker run for those brave or daft enough to use one. West Ryde Middle was rounded to port  andat this point the large and small fleet separated, the larger boats heading to Motherbank Bank whilst the smaller boats rounded South Ryde Middle. Both fleets then did a sausage, the larger sailing from Motherbank Bank to Browndown, back to Mothebank Bank and then up to Browndown again, whist the smaller boats did the same around South Ryde Middle and East Bramble. On the second rounding of Browndown the larger yachts then headed to Peel Bank then up to East Bramble and then to finish at South Ryde Middle. The smaller yachts, in the meantime, after rounding East Bramble for the third time sailed to West Ryde Middle then to North Ryde Middle and then to finish at South Ryde Middle.

During this Fast Cruise the flood tide gradually built and increasingly helped boats lay what should have been a windward buoy in one fetch. During the morning the wind graduallly eased and was around 10 knots by the finish. This had not been forecast and many boats took over two and a half hours to complete the course. After a brief (for the later finishers) break for lunch thesecond Fast Cruise started at 1435 in about 10 knots of wind. The intended courses were changed to a much shorter course, starting a South Ryde Middle, leaving East Bramble to port, Hill Head to starboard and finishing at Hook to port for both fleets so that they could return to Port Hamble in time for the Vice Commodore's pontoon party at 1730. However the wind did not want to play and died almost to nothing leaving many boats becalmed about 100 yards from Hook.  Luckily the tide helped out with the flood slowly pushing boats towards the finish where they could start their engines and motor up to Port Hamble.

I was rather late arriving for the pontoon party and when I arrived I found it sinking under the weight of LSC members but by staying on the fringes I managed to keep my feet dry. The evening was then finished off at the Royal Southern YC a few minutes walk away from Port Hamble where the Fast Cruisers met up for dinner with other members who had taken part in the Frostbite Rally.

The results of the first 2 Fast Cruises using the club handicap system are here and using the progressive handicap system here. One boat had not provided her times in time for the results displayed in the RSrnYC clubhouseon Saturday but she is included now.