The forecast hinted that it was going to be an interesting days sailing for the Eskimo Pursuit Race and Blackpool & Fleetood on 5th Jan, a fact that was confirmed when we turned up 2 hours before the start time and there wasn't any water in the estuary. Neil Marsden confirmed shortly after that the club was expecting a record tidal range of just short of 10 metres and that even if racing was cancelled we wouldn't be able to leave because the road would be flooded.
The breeze started off fairly steady but as the laps went past it became pretty extreme. The club did a fantastic job of keeping everyone safe and we enjoyed some mega spinnaker reaches in max rake conditions. All told it was an event enjoyed by all, sailors and spectators alike. Especially with the gybe mark directly in front of the clubhouse, we particularly had some queries about the twin self launching pole system we're using which worked a treat in these conditions helping us to look good.
To top the event off we passed Andy Tunnicliffe in the leading Solo a lap before the end and were never challenged. Andy was eventually passed by the Merlin of Steve Crank and Sally Townend shortly before the finish, however all the competitors that completed the race did an excellent job as the gusty conditions were seriously severe towards the end and mixed in with lines ith tide running in opposite directions within a boat length to trip you up, it certainly wasn't for the faint hearted.
BFYC put on a great event and though the forecast certainly impacted entries this year, hopefully there will be a keener turnout next year. To add the icing on the cake the Rooster sponsored prizes down to 12th went down a treat and I picked myself up a new supertherm longjohn
which I'm looking forward to putting to good use in the next few weeks.
Finally I must thank Chris Massey for a wicked sail... even with the 'man flu'... looking forward to the season ahead.