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RORC Morgan Cup 2017 - Blog from Arthur Logic

A Weekend of firsts for the Arthur Logic Fastnet Team - Blog by Team Member Margaret

On a sunny Friday afternoon, the crew of Arthur re-assembled for our first race together.  Once again, nervous tension was in the air as for some it was their first offshore race and the weather we had had that week promised that it would not be uninteresting.  How would we fare in our first RORC race?

We picked up from where we had left off the week before, quickly pulling together to get the kit and food stowed and to rig the boat.  Off we set into the evening, following a procession of other yachts all destined for a start line just off Cowes.  Jim was our tactician for the race and he and Bob talked through our starting positions so that we were primed and ready to go.  They decided that the best rig would be to go down the Solent with our code zero, a good plan given the wind angle, but one of the sails we had not practiced with.  We didn’t let that faze us, and with true adaptability we raised the code zero and off we went.

As we raced down the Solent, the evening light made the fleet glisten.  It is a glorious sight to see over one hundred boats flying spinnakers (or similar) against the backdrop of a setting sun; a true sign of summer.  Not that it felt particularly summery as we came out of the lee of the Isle of Wight and met the Channel full on.  It was, fair to say, a rather bumpy race, and several of the crew were struck down by seasickness.  Not that we let it stop us, we just ensured the fish were well fed as well as keeping the boat moving fast.  That said, there may have been some unsavoury words muttered when two rather unwell persons were recovering from a wet and lumpy headsail change and the suggestion came that we should change it back!

We pushed hard all night, and on into the next day, getting into our watch patterns.  For some it was their first night of racing, another experience ticked off their sailing wish-lists.  We had agreed beforehand that we would race hard, but not too hard as the aim was to finish rather than win at all costs.  It was therefore encouraging to see our position in our class unfold, not to mention our performance compared to the other Sailing Logic boats!  After a windy race, the wind dropped as we approached Guernsey and we found ourselves at the mercy of the tide.  So did the other boats, and our more favourable inshore positioning meant that we crept through whilst others were stationery and crossed the finish line in 12th place in our class, 3rd out of the Sailing Logic fleet.  A job well done.

Unlike some of the other competitors, we decided that we had time to go ashore for a quick drink, and something to eat for those who could stomach it.  The post race pint is always enjoyable, and this one was no different.  An hour ashore passed quickly and we were soon back onboard to catch the tide home.  The wind had still not fully surfaced and what little there was came from right aft, so we motor sailed back across the Channel reflecting on the first race of our Fastnet campaign.  Conclusion: a promising start and a few areas of improvement identified for us to work on in our next race, to St Malo.  Watch out fleet, Arthur is on the charge.


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