Light winds plague the fleet and cause chaos

Swan Europeans – Day 3

Matthew Sheahan reports from the weather rail of Eva

Light and variable winds meant that the race organisers had to postpone the two inshore races on Day 3 three of the Swan Europeans for two hours while they waited for conditions to settle down. By midday their waiting appeared to have paid off as an 8-10knot breeze settled in from the East and both classes set off on windward leeward style courses. However, as the leading boats in class F approached the end of the first of two rounds the breeze swung round through 100 degrees before dying altogether. A leading group managed to slip themselves over the line but as the east going tide took a hold the bulk of the fleet were stranded and struggled to make the line. Aboard Eva we were one of the last in the leading group to finish before the breeze died altogether, posting a respectable 7th. Meanwhile our sistership Desperado, who had been close to us for much of the race was unlucky in being caught on the wrong side of the downwind leg and in the end took nearly twice as long to complete the course. Peter Ogden’s Spirit of Jethou won the race. On the second race the breeze was again light with huge variations in wind directions causing chaos among both fleets. In class F Island Fling won the race with Jacobite, helmed by Olympic medallist Shirley Robertson coming second and proving that you didn’t have to be one of the biggest or newest boats in the fleet to get into the chocolates. The overall points show how close the running is in this class with five boats separated by just two points – Jacobite, Island Fling, Spirit of Jethou, Crackerjack and I’m pleased to say Eva too is the leading group of boats with everything to play for. Meanwhile in class F, Menenes, Sloop John T, Xaossa and Saga are dominating the lead roles in their group.

ps. No wonder I haven’t understood some of the calls from up forward on our boat, it now appears that we have three Spaniards and an Italian running the front of the boat. And I thought I’d met everyone yesterday.