2018 JOG Nab Tower – aka Snakes and Ladders

On the 21st of April there was a horrible sound at an ungodly hour.

The alarm went off very early in the morning... It was to get me out of bed in preparation for Django’s first race of the season the JOG Nab Tower race. It was the first on that the owner and I have done together and was to set the start of the really exciting season ahead. Weather wise it didn't look too bad on the forecast with a NWish 10kts.

We arrived at the start with a little time to spare to get the main up and get our bearings. It was made slightly more challenging with a racing flood tide pushing you over the line. It was a reasonable start playing it slightly safer to ensure that we had clear air as one of the smallest boats in the fleet. The slightly frustrating thing, and was to continue through the day was the real snakes and ladders game we played. One moment we had height and speed over the quickest boats and without change would slight back down (she's probably a much more sensitive boat than we give her credit).

We played it well though getting to the forts in a reasonable position, or as well as we could see in the low cloud. It was the call to go into the island side (which made sense wind and tidally to begin with) that probably what cost us the most due to the wind deciding to disappear on us. This meant a few boats managed to sneak through. Due to the “follow the leader” style race back it offered little opportunity to overtake. What made it more infuriating was the light weather we lost inshore came back near the forts. All whilst we were trying to punch tide back to Cowes which lead to a bit of a slog home.

The way home

It was a real contrast on the way home with the thunderstorms looming overhead and 25+kts of breeze racing across the water. We even had to put the tiny jib up to keep us roughly upright as we battered past the girls (if Twitter was correct) on the Greig City Academy boat Scaramouche.

Finally we berthed up after spending 14hours sailing. It was under the most spectacular purple bulging storms clouds hurling their aquatic babies down from the sky (not sure where that metaphor came from) completely drenching everything.

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