Annie Beakhust Memorial Race

Poole started with a hairy Saturday commuting trip from Southampton.It gave us the right impressions for Sundays race...More courios was our fuel stop in Yarmouth. Every 100liters the system had to be restarted and after 2 resets someone had to pay as the system would not allow to have them pending. So do not refuel if you need about 1000liters in Yarmouth, or visit Mr. Caulcutt at The Towers for a drink to cover the waiting time...

On the weather briefing before start, we were given the impression of improving developments, but it was the typical English Summer force 3-4 that otherwise would be called 7-8 beaufort of windspeed in reality.

Start procedures were precise and everything was done as instructed, but the delay in waiting for Fury was a bit annoying, though in fairniss I would think it was worth trying them to join the race and therefore the delayed start was well acceptable.At the start Dean set in front, but the heavy Apache was coming up straight behind and we gave space to fit neatly in while Fury was squeezing in from the left.Heading for hengistbury it was a trio of Tony Toll, Dean Gibbs and us making way for the rough bit into Bridge.We stayed to far on the right side upfront the bank, but noticeable took the slower way and and two buoys we were far behind Going Lean and War Horse.

Photo courtesy - Graham Stevens

We needed to go well into the middle of portland bay before we wre alongside Tony again.When he noticed us he suddenly sped up again and we slowly fell back as he had the better upwindsetup.As soon as we rounded the turning mark this changed and it was us coming back up again.Downwind we saw well over 60 knots bringing us quickly together again.

Then at the next turning marker of DZB we just passed behind Tony again.Shortly after we lost an engine again!It was the electrical fault that stopped us in Torbay already...It took 4 minutes till we were running again! The other two were far ahead and there was no more pressure to catch them up quickly, as it was unrealistic to push this realistcly. We moved on fast but without much chance now.

Still we kept on and it was one fast return to Bournemouth Pier before Simon Wood Power said on the intercom that steering was completely lost.We went down to mid 30knots and managed to finish the race on Trim Plate steering only.

It worked and had us achieving Points.Still there was a bit of dissapointment as we would have enjoyed the battle with Tonies Apache to the end.It turned out that the steering hydraulics tank fell off the bracket on the bulkhead and the oil was gone.Good that the drives level themselves in balance so that some straight direction was possible.

Photo courtesy - Graham Stevens

So hats off to the Apache Team for doing so well, not so much that they won, but going that well in the very rough conditions out there.Seeing it and feeling it alongside out there was the only way to know how unpleasant it had been. It was online with Torbay and the CTC 2010.

Hope we get our major and minor technical issues sorted and be ready for the CTC in August.

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