Anyway - we're all a bit older now and like myself Rod (front row - finger in the air - manic grin) has graduated to sitting down sailing, but owns a far bigger boat than mine, has a masters ticket, and a few months ago asked if we fancied doing the race... so after I'd (back row - middle - orange tshirt) bitten his arm off, some of the others also mentioned they fancied coming; that's Chris (back row second right - fetching lavender shorty) and the two Dave's (not pictured - one of them may have been taking the picture).
Either way - yesterday was first race practice - and what a brilliant day for it! This was the track..
Rod's boat is based at Port Solent which is at the top of Portsmouth Harbour, so having piled on, done a familiarisation, showed us the safety kit, we headed out for the sea - plan was to head for Cowes for lunch (a spot called the Folly Inn - which is the cause of the track up the river Medina!) and then after lunch, head for the mouth of the Beaulieu River before heading for home...
True to form the prevailing conditions had carried on - very similar to Sunday when I'd been out on Papillon - consistent force 4 (slightly more I think) with some truly horrible gusts... checking the archives it looks mostly force 4 gusting 5 with the occasional six in the morning, but a solid force 6 after we came back into the Solent after lunch. Suffice to say that with wind over tide we abandoned the visit to Beaulieu (though you can see we tried) and went on a long run to home...
Brilliant sailing - most enjoyable - can't wait for the actual race now, but we were all totally knackered after this, so heaven knows how we'll feel after that!
Distance: A massive 40.8 miles (not adding this to the cumulative total as it wasn't done in Papillon.. )
Wind: Changeable started WNW went to WSW for the middle period and then back to WNW - Force 4 (gusting 5 & 6) in the morning, solid force 6 in the afternoon.. Maximum speed 7.6 knots (under sail), average speed between 4.5 & 4.8 knots... fast sailing, no wonder Rod can go further than I do on a days sailing - he travels everywhere 30 - 50% faster than me!