Nordic Folkboat Lymington Saturday Series - Race 9
by Chris Baldwick on 8 Aug 2016
6 August 2016
Being the first Saturday of Cowes Week, the turnout for the Royal Lymington Saturday points series was less than usual with nine boats on the start line.
A stiff sea breeze and clear, blue skies made for a sparkling and perfect West Solent afternoon, with winds up to 20 knots, perfect Nordic Folkboat weather. The race committee set an excellent course with good beats and runs, the first windward mark being Hurst, and then a run to Black Rock. There was a small delay in the start time but the fleet got off to a clear start, heading for the pin end of the line and taking advantage of a strong ebb tide, tacking out into Fiddlers Reach in the middle of the Solent and on towards Hurst. The fleet all rounded fairly close together and set spinnakers for Black Rock, where the fleet split and four boats opted to cross to the mainland shore while the remaining five, led by Jos and Tak took the Island shore, a decision they came to regret!
Meanwhile, Crackerjack, Bonnie and Pilgrim decided to make for the mainland shore to get out of the worst of the tide. Padfoot however, sailed directly for Tanners. It was a fantastic, roller-coaster dead run against the tide, and the leading boats around the mark were Crackerjack, Padfoot and Bonnie. Padfoot's direct line to the mark had paid off despite the tide. The five boats in the fleet that had opted for the Island shore were lost to sight.
After Tanners the leaders had another good beat to Colten, with no place changes and still a big gap between the leading four boats and the remainder of the fleet. Another good run ensued from Colten with Padfoot going close inshore out of the tide, but again no place changes in the leaders.
As the time got close to 16:00 the automatic shorten course rule came into play and the fleet sailed straight back to the Platform Finish line from the previous mark where the order was Crackerjack, Padfoot and Bonnie, with Pilgrim in fourth place and the boats that had earlier opted for the Island shore bringing up the rear.
A classic Solent day that was enjoyed by all who took part.
Series results on the Royal Lymington Yacht Club website.