Fine Weather and Fair Winds for Folly Fast Cruise (Results included)
For the final Fast Cruise of 2013 we had fine weather and fair winds. For the start at 1100 a gentle 8 or 9 knots was blowing from the west. As usual two courses were set, a longer one for the bigger boatsand a shorter one for the smaller boats. They were designed in the hope that all boats would arrive at Prince Consort, off the entrance to Cowes around 1400 to 1430 allowing the yachts to arrive at the Folly in daylight. The larger boats were set a course of 11.5 miles starting at North Sturbridge cardinal mark whilst the smaller boats started at Mother Bank with a course of 8.8 miles. Initially the east going tide, which was still flooding at around 1 knot, made progress from the start quitedifficult for the larger boats and a number didn't manage to start in the 10 minute window. However the tide must have been weaker around Mother Bank, or else the smaller boats coped with it better, because everyone started within the 10 minute window.
Although the Fast Cruise was held only 2 days sfter the big spring tides that were one of the causes of the flooding on the east coast, the start was only a couple of hours before the tide turned and as the Fast Cruise proceded the tide became weaker and weaker and all boats found the going much easier. The last few legs of the course were the same for both fleets; Peel Bank to Norris to W Ryde Middle to finish at Prince Consort and, sailing on a faster boat, we began to find we were on the same bit of water as we approached the finish. In fact there were just 28 minutes (from 1341 to 1409) separating the first boat and the last boat crossing the finishing line. I think some congratulations must go to Charles Whittam who designed the 2 courses. My only complaint, as one of a group who chartered (and PAID!!) for a boat with a spinnaker, was that there were no down wind legs.
Once again the party in the Folly lived up to expectations and included dancing on the tables.
My thanks also go to Barrie Martin who provided one of his home made Christmas puddings for the winning boat which was Solid Air owned by Richard Stong. The results, using LSC handicap are here with LSC overall positions after 5 Fast Cruises here. For the Progressive handicap the December's results are here with the overall postions here.
Also please note for next year's diaries, the Folly Fast Cruise has been booked and will be held one week later than this year on 13 December 2014. If I had chosen the same week the deeper draft boats would have been stuck in the mud several hundred metres from the pontoon. HW Cowes is 1533 with 3.7m. Unfortunately LW Chichester will be 0843 and LW Beaulieu is around 0824. Luckily it is a small range tide and there should be about 1.8m rise at Chichester and 1.5m rise at Beaulieu.