Last weekend saw the start of Rye Harbour Sailing Club’s cruiser racing program in sunny but very brisk conditions with wind gusting to Force 7 on Saturday. There were eight boats on the water.
The Officer of the Day (OOD) had hoped in view of the conditions for a no-show with cancellations but was met with a lot of eager faces keen to brush off the winter cobwebs, all of whom were feverishly hanking on sails in preparation for a race.
However, the off season had taken its toll, so much so that certain experienced sailors were trying to put their sails on upside down. The start was no better, having been delayed by 15 minutes due to a lack of urgency. The first boat to cross the start line managed it a full half-minute after the gun, none of the old nip and tuck jostling for position we are used to.
The race continued in a similar fashion with the OOD dragging anchor 800 yards and not a spinnaker to be seen in the racing fleet, even an upside down one!
At the finish, Howard Bates’s Westerly Fulmar Mallard took line honours in 55 minutes 39 seconds on a shortened race, despite being hampered by a large crew. David Preston’s smaller Limbo Girl did well in what must have been a very wet race for her. All in all a very encouraging start to the season. The OOD finally got back on his berth at midnight having left it too late when the race ended and spent a cold night on his boat waiting for the tide.
Sunday’s race was a much more placid affair and we did see some spinnakers.
The detailed results can be seen on the club website at www.rhsc.org.uk