Other than a gentle beat down the Solent at dusk on Friday evening and a few last minute tacks as the wind dropped to only that created by the tide that carried us over the finish line in the Little Russell, this weekend was downwind all the way. We hoisted the A2 in the Needles Channel, changed down to A5 south of Anvil Point as the wind approached 20 knots just after midnight and changed back six hours later approaching Casquets as it fell back into the teens. Our principal rivals, Rob and Kate in J105 Big Foot, have a heavyweight fractional A2 that they carried through the night which, probably along with sailing hotter angles, helped them come in several minutes ahead. But our second place was enough to secure overall victory in the Royal Southampton double handed offshore series and, if we have done the sums right, provide an unassailable lead in the main series too.
The wind obligingly turned round for the return trip, for a delivery back to the Hamble in a F6 and following sea with heavy weather jib and two reefs in the main.
To cap it all, we managed to brew proper coffee for breakfast both days with friends playing in our bow wave: dolphins, downwind at dawn, with decent coffee – it doesn’t get much better!