The wind has held, but the weather hasn't - Oilskins and boots are order of the day as crews impatiently await course notification

A mass exodus of yachts leaving Cowes takes on the appearance of rats leaving a sinking ship. The weather forecast indicates a southwesterly breeze of 10 to 14 knots this morning, increasing and veering to a WSW, 14 to 18 knots. However, having crossed the Solent in an open RIB this morning, in reality the weather is wet and much windier than the forecast suggests. A few late sail changes may occur as crews switch to heavier-weight kites.

The first race starts at 1030, course notification is given five minutes before the start time, during which time race tactics are decided. Yesterday the Class 0 IRC course was rather unusual and caused a bit of confusion in the fleet. One crewmember aboard the ACC yacht, High Voltage commented, “it was a case of follow the leader, but we still ended up choosing the wrong mark and sailed three miles more than necessary.”

High water Cowes is at 1342, meaning that slack water off Cowes beings shortly after 1230 before the tide turns and heads west. The early starters heading into the western Solent will be keen to keep out of main channel and strongest tide. The advantage going to the smallest draft vessels which can hug the shallow north shore, and may even pick up a few back eddies.

First overall results for each of the classes are being calculated. As soon as the race office releases these, we should be able to see any early indications of what to expect for the rest of the week, and which boats to keep an eye on as potential class winners.