RORC Cherbourg Race 2014 – More of a floatathon

Conrad Manning Racing_ChannelRace14
Morning, Code 0 sailing with Artemis boats in the distance…

So the final race of the season was a complete hair-puller… The race started with some funky wind and had more funky stuff all the way across then ended with a completely unhelpful shift!

It was a different start just before the race as we didn’t even have a boat in the water due to some confusion in conversation, not a problem though as she was floated in plenty of time. Then, whilst we were putting the main on (with a few patches), we sent a lad up the rig from Carbon Yachting to replace the wand that had removed itself from the rig during the RBI. Thinking everything was fine, we motored over to the identification gate as we have done every time these past couple of years. Literally a boatlength from the gate I spotted smoke coming from below which prompted a massive search of the engine room, two different tows to get us onto a buoy and just enough time to get through the gate and to the start line.

With that excitement over we had an unenviable task of choosing between the Code 0 and the J2… We went for the 0, got covered by the Artemis 60, wind shifted forwards 40degrees, changed to the J2 all in the space of about 5 minutes from the start! Thankfully we read the start right with the seriously port end bias so along with Tonnerre, Artemis 43, 21, 37 and the IMOCA 60 we were miles ahead at the needles. (6th on the water isn’t bad!) Again though, like other races for some strange reason, we checked for weed, we lost a kt of boatspeed out of the blue. Completely frustrating to see our hard won gains slowly drifting away.

It was seriously light and rubbish wind all the way across with wind strength rarely above 10kts more often around 2/3kts! This lead to much frustration watching the fleet compress behind us and the feeling of despair as we pirouetted during the millionth restart for the 3rd time that night 🙁 Thankfully, the redeeming feature was the spectacular sunrise and a slight increase in wind allowing us to power through with the Code 0, catching up with the Artemis boys.

Beautiful sun rise with barely any wind! Yeah the photo doesn't do it justice...
Beautiful sun rise with barely any wind! Yeah the photo doesn’t do it justice…

Unfortunately, as with all the stories about catching them up, we were within 1nm of them and we lost 1-1/2 of a kt and saw them sail away with nothing that we could have done. Thats how it stayed until the finish…

RESULTS!

  • IRC Overall: 20th
  • IRC 2: 7th
  • IRC 2 Handed: 7th

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