RORC – Channel Race on Artemis 77

Conrad Manning Racing_ChannelRace15With the RYS regatta dust barely settled it was back onto the water for some proper sailing! It was an early start for Will and I post North party but we managed to get her nice and prep’d for departing at 0900. After a quick look at the forecast before departing it looked to be bouncy at the start with some nice downwind sailing coming in later. Little did we know what was to happen…

The forecast wasn’t so wrong at the beginning, however the polars that we were using/or just general computation must have had an off day. We arrived much to our amazement 5hrs ahead of target but still behind the majority of boats! In fairness Figaros don’t go up wind and against waves particularly well against more accustomed vessels… On the way up to the mark just of Anvil Pt things started to get slightly fruity with ~25kts on the nose. In hindsight we should have pealed to the smaller jib earlier so that the main did less flapping but never mind, it wasn’t so far to go at that stage, it just felt horrendous all the way up being passed by loads of smaller boats 🙁

Around the mark was good fun as we proved our short handed skills by popping the kite quicker than many of the fully crewed boats! Spirits were much higher though now that we were heading down wind in lush conditions; it was proper champagne sailing (See twitter for photo)! What made it even better was the fact we were cruising past all the other boats who casually swanned past us on the way out! Frustratingly the wind started to veer which was unexpected as the night closed in which lead to us having to think on our feet. Gybing and heading inshore meant that we were always keeping the CMG as high as possible.

Like the mark before, we had beaten the computer by another hour! Must have been the exceptional crewing (not the awesome weather ). This did mean that we weren’t battling the tides on the way back to the finish off Gillkicker.

There was a spot of upwind and uncharacteristicly I was freezing… Not sure why but it made things thoroughly difficult. We kept the pedal down taking it in turns to go off watch and take 10min of snooze. Apparently this is what solo sailors do… really doesn’t work unless you’re shattered and can fall asleep immediately (Shown by Will being wiped out on Sunday!

Complete shutdown off the forts which lead to some infuriating restarts all the way between them and Gillkicker. Frustratingly both Raging Bee and Night & Day slipped through with some sort of motor attached to their boat… Like I said, infuriating!

Pleased with the result though placing well in IRC Overall and exceptionally well in the IRC 2 fleet!



IRC Overall 41st
IRC 2 4th
IRC 2 Handed 9th

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