RORC 2H Offshore Race Recap!
It is fair to say that we were beyond nervous before the start on Saturday. To put it simply, we had been selected to compete on an amazing boat in a highly competitive series, and the last thing we wanted to do was to screw it up!
With 30 boats on the start line there was certainly a lot of manoeuvring to be done. However, we managed to come out of it well and on the first leg (to a buoy off the east of the IOW) we worked brilliantly together, overtaking quite a few boats along the way.
After rounding the first mark we had spinnakers up and were going along nicely until the wind began to drop and by the time we arrived at St. Catherine’s Point we were becalmed. Yet we still found ourselves in the top 10 and in the company of quite a few Olympic medalists, round the world sailors and many many years of experience! We were pretty chuffed with that given our combined age of just 34.
After rounding St Catherine’s point the wind changed once again. A gusty and shifty breeze had filled in from the North and we found ourselves beating slowly up the Isle of Wight to the next mark off The Needles. Unfortunately, on this leg we soon found ourselves making some big losses as the other boats were consistently proving to be quicker in the conditions. Then, as we approached the mark we fell into a wind hole whilst many of the others began to sail away. By this point we had lost much of the ground we had initially gained, but we kept our heads up and kept going!
After rounding the mark off The Needles we had three legs zigzagging across Poole Bay in a dark and very cold night. It was a mix of reaching and beating upwind all whilst the temperature plunged ever lower until we were in sub zero condition, wearing every piece of clothing we possessed.
We crossed the finish line at 04:10:09 on Sunday morning, but that was not the end – we still had a three hour motor back to Hamble against the tide.
In the end we placed 20th out of 30 boats which we felt was pretty good considering we were on the smallest boat, were the youngest crew, and it was our first ever offshore race!
However, the main thing was that we LOVED it and we both cannot wait for our next challenges and more learning!