JOG Vectis Race 2017

Report from Just So Class 4

When we were woken up at 3 am on Saturday morning by the incredibly bright lightning and a while later claps of thunder overhead (Very loud!), we were very, very pleased that we weren’t out there on the high seas on our way to St Quay.


The rain had just about stopped by the time we set off from Lymington, but it was still very grey and damp. For the first time this season, we had a full team of 8. Thank goodness!!!


We made a good start and hoisted the code 0 – good choice Will. It was pretty tasty, particularly when we got the “Medina gust” and lots of other gusts. By the time we reached the forts, we were the only boat that hadn’t dropped and gone back to jib. NJOS, sailing 2-handed and thus in Class 4, were sailing “non-spinnaker” and were doing very well, having avoided all the dramas.


After Bembridge it was upwind and we went inshore to try and get out of the tide. It was more like a “round-the cans” race as all the boats were close together and we crossed and re-crossed each other. At one point we tacked and as we headed back out the depth dropped to 0.3m, two boats touched just behind us, and Will shouted “bear away”. (He later said that he knew exactly where the lump was).


We reached St Catherines as the tide was turning to go West, but the seas were already confused and no doubt got worse by the time the smaller boats reached there. But it was at Bridge buoy where the seas were worst – waves were going in all directions and at one point David got knocked from the helm. We had opted for a gybe-set, which was a mistake as we then had to gybe to make sure we cleared the wreck. We also had problems dropping the jib on the hoist as the jammer jammed! It took two of us several minutes to get the clutch open. 


Things were a lot better when we got past the confused seas, but the wind was increasing and we saw 32knots at Hurst. Ahead of us we saw a class 3 boat broach dramatically and as we caught up with them saw the sad sight of them recovering their spinnaker bits from the sea. 


We gybed in towards the mainland shore to get out of the tide a bit, but when we thought we could lay the finish we crossed to the island side. Prime Suspect ahead stayed on the mainland shore much longer and when they crossed, finished just ahead. 


Grateful that the tide was still going West, a tired Just So crew motored back to Lymington, as several had to get back home and the rest of us collapsed in front of The Americas Cup on the TV!


Thank you to all concerned in sorting out a challenging day’s racing!


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