Bosham Classic Revival
The Bosham Classic Revival is an event we were keen to attend for many years. The forecast for the weekend of 7/8 September was looking good with F3 and some sunshine. The wind on Saturday seemed a little lighter than forecast, a northerly so great for heading out from Bosham but a challenge for beating against the ebb on the return. A good briefing by the club informed us that racing was around harbour marks ( we were given a laminated sheet showing the positions) and the course would be placed on the side of the committee boat at least 10 minutes before the start. We had a pencil to note the order and marks on the back of the laminated sheet!
Sailing out to the race area was straightforward enough though deciding which committee boat was ours was less obvious to us. The course was listed as a series of letters which we then checked on the sheet for corresponding buoy names and then attempted to find them, initially on the sheet then later during the race. The tactic for the first beat was to try and start well, which we did, but not lead around the windward mark as we were unsure where to go next. We followed another 18 and a Hornet around the mark in 3rd and followed them, across a sandbank! They must have been luckier than us as we hit the sand hard and damaged the rudder which was not repairable on the water. It worked enough to get back to the club to switch to the spare rudder but whilst the rudder stock was in the car the rudder itself was back at the accommodation. I managed to collect both parts, put them together and we sailed back out to the race area but had just missed the start of the final race.
Racing on Sunday with a lifting rudder was to prove better. We had the same tactic for Race 1 as we did not know where the second mark was but we had a good start and lead at the windward mark. We headed in the general direction of where we hoped mark two was, just off East Head, hoisted the spinnaker and pulled away from the rest of the fleet. On looking back the fleet seemed to be headed more towards Wittering so we dropped the spinnaker, gybed and headed in that direction only for the fleet to gybe and head in our direction. We did the same, hoisted again and soon found the mark, and the next couple of marks. However, one mark was, to us, rather elusive and was not at all clear as two were fairly close. We opted for the wrong one, a mistake that was only obvious minutes later as the rest of the fleet went around it. We had no option but to go back to it, loosing 7 places on the water. The final race of the weekend, where we knew where the marks were, was more successful with a win.
Whilst the overall result was disappointing it was a great weekend of sailing. We learnt a lot:
- Don't assume you can sail in the same direction as another dinghy
- If uncertain about depth use a lifting rudder
- Take spares to events and keep them close by
The local sailors had a significant advantage in knowing where the harbour marks were and Bosham SC did agree that next year they will consider providing a lead rib to assist those less familiar. We shall be back.
National 18 - 346