Calshot-Lymington Long Distance Race

Three ISO's, several catamarans and an RS200 participated in this years Calshot SC Long Distance Race. This is a fun race and something different from the usually small lap racing. In fact there are no buoys to round at all. Just sail down half of the solent from the start line off Calshot SC to a finish line at the Lymington starting platform. Then have a leisurely lunch at Lymington Town SC followed by another race back to Calshot.

This year we were blessed with a strong south-westerly which meant about 10 miles of beating (measured direct, so thats about 15 miles of sailing) into 18-22 knots of wind over tide. It paid to get out near the channel to find the best tide but this meant negotiating some big waves not to mention big yachts. Sometimes there was no way around them and you just had to bear off and drive through them (the waves not the yachts). We started a bit late due to rigging problems and took a while to get used to the conditions so very soon the other ISO's were out of sight and we felt quite alone. Once when we were tacking out, I think I could see 530 hacking down the centre of the Solent amongst the shipping. Those guys are fearless! But apart from that the next time we saw them was in the bar at Lymington.

Towards the end of the first leg we had trouble finding the finishing line and over stood it. When we bore off towards it, we had so much spray I couldn't see a thing and had to rely on my crew out on the wire for directions to the finish line. Then we tore up the river into Lymington overtaking everything. There was just no way to slow down and keep the boat stable.

We changed and had a very long lunch and rest until about 3pm or so while the rescue boats were out looking for those that didn't make it. Two cats retired with breakages and needed assistance.

By the time we were ready to head back the wind had eased a bit and the tide had turned so it was a lot more relaxing and calmer to do the 10 miles of spinnaker reaching back. This time the three ISO's were fairly close together all the way back. We were reaching almost parallel to the shipping channel but having to gybe back in towards the shore every so often to avoid it. We finished the day with a BBQ and a few beers at the club.

The finish positions were
  1. 1002 Dave Poupard and Rachel Hughes
  2. 530 Mike Preater and Josh Preater
  3. 1190 Colin Snook and Mike Dawson
  4. ..n) Catamarans and Roger in the RS200

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