JOG NAB TOWER RACE – 13 April 2013

I was assured by Brian that the weather would be favourable for us to do the Nab Tower Race last weekend double-handed, although it would deteriorate later in the day. So I agreed to the challenge for the practical sailing experience to compliment my Day Skipper theory course that I’m currently doing.

The race started well with us conquering the pin end of the start line. We had decided to race with the No 3 Genoa and the Dacron main sail (with sliders) for ease of use. In retrospect we would have been better with the No 1 heading through the Solent as the wind was as little as 7 knots at times.

We stayed behind the main group of race boats and watched a fully-crewed Sigma 38 edge their way in front of us keeping close to the island shore. We had thought Sigmagician were the only other Sigma entry but, approaching the mark we spotted Mefisto’s devil-faced spinnaker coming towards us with Sigmagician close on their tail. We rounded the mark with no problems, and after a little delay hoisted our heavyweight spinnaker to a big cheer from Hot Rats crew.

As we passed the forts into the Solent the wind went further forward and started to increase gusting to 24 at times. This became harder to control, so we hoisted the No3 again and prepared to drop the kite. Not that easy, the guy got wrapped over the end of the boom, Brian struggled to free it and drop the spinnaker whilst I helmed the boat. This probably cost us several places in the race, finishing 10th out of 15 boats in our class.

The thought of a rewarding drink in the Island Sailing Club was tempting but with the weather deteriorating, we headed back to Haslar punching the tide all the way. It seemed to take forever, we got very wet and cold and I nearly lost the will to live!!  Back on our berth with the heating on I felt relieved albeit a little disappointed with our result.


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