Royal Southampton Yacht Club
Le Havre Double Handed Race
Race Start: - 18.50 Hill Head - Southampton Water
My co-Skipper Mark Hammond and I just managed to get Crean to the start line with 15 seconds to go after being headed by a squall whilst making our way from Gosport marina.
First over the line we popped up the fractional spinnaker and worked our way down the Solent seconds behind Atomic who led us out passed the forts. It soon got dark and the boats separated as we all stuck to our ‘plans’. My plan was to stick as close to the course as possible whilst maintaining boat speed however this pushed us well south of the course and eventually we were seeing the lights of Cherbourg! After some discussion we gibed and at last could aim for Le Havre.
We reached on into the night at a fairly constant 8 knots with a top speed of 12.2.knots which was a bit of a learning curve for Mark but he was soon at home steering down the waves and getting a feel for what these amazing boats are capable of.
Many hours later we were being headed a little and Crean was becoming overpowered in the gusts. I decided to persist with the kite but put a reef in the main, which did the trick, and we kept this configuration all the way to the finish line at 09.40.
Maggie and Ricky from the Royal Southampton Yacht Club were on the pontoons and helped us moor the boat and told us that were first mini which was great news. Thanks to them and the club for organising the race and dinner in the evening.
Also a big thanks to Mark for co-skippering and putting up with my whinging!