PSC Race Report : by Malcolm Elliott
Wind direction NW to SW Strength 8 to 12 to 5 knots
First race start due: 13:30 – actual: 14:50
2 yachts came to the start area
VG Offshore (Rama)
Mahalakshmi (John Rajoo)
Race Officer: Malcolm
The courses were laid downstream to take advantage of the strong SW wind which had taken over from the light NW wind that have prevailed all morning. The course marks were laid in about 10 knots of wind with a light flood tide. Because of the spring tides and only moderate wind the R.O. laid a simple 2 mark course that was to be used for course 14, 23 and 24. However, by the time the 2 boats arrived at the start area, delayed due to various technical problems the flood time had increased to about 3 knots and wind dropped from 10 to 8 knots. Despite this Mahalakshmi crossed the line within the first minute, whereas VG Offshore, due to her much larger windage and keel length struggled to get across the line within the start cut-off time. Then, after some 60 minutes of beating towards the first windward mark, both boats were struggling to even make headway against the increasing tide and decreasing wind, until the point came when they were both going backwards upstream and could not fetch the mark. Therefore the race was abandoned and no further racing planned given the adverse conditions and late hour.
It is likely that the race schedule will have to be amended to avoid such extreme spring tides in the future, this being one of the highest this year at 5.3m, as even fast sports boats would have difficulty sailing in such conditions. By the time the marks were lifted the tide had increased to 7+ knots but all mark anchors held well & danbuoys remained vertical and visible throughout, a testament to their design and construction.