The inshore series taking place within the Royal Southampton Double-handed main series has fallen into a clear pattern. The second and third races were repeats of the first one back in early April at least as far as we were concerned, with Huw Philips and Mike Moxley bring HOD 35 Malice home a few minutes ahead of Mostly Harmless on corrected time. With three firsts out of the four races in the inshore series, they are home and dry, and with three seconds, our second place overall is secure irrespective of what happens in the final race in this series in mid October.
Last year we won the outbound Weymouth double handed race, crossing the line off the Nothe Pier doing 16 knots and hoping that we could drop the spinnaker before piling up onto Weymouth Beach. We then dropped the A2 in the water on the race back and wrapped the sheets around the prop.
This year the prospects of winning the outbound leg evaporated when the wind went into the west off St Albans and we failed to extract the speed we needed to stay ahead of other, more windward friendly designs and finished a disappointing fourth. But the wind remained in the west on the return leg. If anything, the angles were uncomfortably deep for a boat with asymmetric spinnaker, but somehow we managed to remain close enough to the brand new J11S (a version of the J111 optimised for short handed sailing under IRC, with a conventional spinnaker to boot) sailed by Paul Heys as we crossed Christchurch Bay and headed down the Solent, to win by 4 minutes on corrected time.
Iain McLuckie was out taking pictures…….
…..on a chilly day in March (Tori Davies getting reading for the hoist and then smiling for the camera):
….. and on another chilly day on 10th April:
…..and a breezy enough day for a reef, code 4 jib and indecision about whether to hoist the A5 on 17th April: