Yachting World's Editorial Assistant Christina Sampson reports on a day with the Girls for Sail crew on their Sigma 38
Yachting World’s Editorial Assistant Christina Sampson reports on a day with the Girls for Sail crew on their Sigma 38.
Hanging around during the postponement was a good opportunity for a quick spinnaker lesson from Volvo RYA Keelboat sailor, Helen Brown as she ensured everyone was happy with how to set and trim.
After a slow start as we tried to locate the Alpha start line through the mist, we battled against the tide to make our way to the Hamstead Ledge buoy five and a half miles away. Some close tacking adjacent to the Cowes parade, got everyone concentrating on weight distribution as we perfected our rolling tacks and gave the spectators ashore a good opportunity to watch the racing up close.
As the wind dropped, the increasing strength of the tide made it almost impossible to gain and ground. The smaller classes including Redwings, XODs and Sunbeams managed to catch up and for two hours we struggled up the shore. With boats nearest the shore calling for water and boats tacking back on starboard to avoid the tide, a chaotic situation saw several boats boxed in with nowhere to go and we watched two boats T-bone in slow motion.
Eating lunch on the rail as a15 knot breeze kicked in, we all agreed it had been worth all the rolling tacks and beating against the tide, as three and half hours later we reached the first mark.
A rapid spinnaker hoist as we rounded the mark followed by a run to Newtown two miles away. The heat of the day was stifling and the rest of the day seemed an endless game of catch-up. Unfortunately, however, even with everyone’s maximum effort we never managed to gain on the rest of the pack.