Conditions: 7-12 m/s south-south/west. Track 16 (4, 8 port 4 styreboard) - again. Siri, Michael, Defne and Preben.
Got a bit late out on the water due to domestic challenges (Preben was the latest). Sailing conditions looked good in the beginning, so everything was set for a greate race. We tried to start close to shore which ment shorter time to bouy 4 (pole 4). This might have worked, but somehow quite a few boats had the same thought in mind. The start was really crowded! We managed to get in line with the crowd, but was quite a few meeters behind. So, we had a bad start, and in souch conditions this is punished with relentless force. Bad wind, slower speed and fewer tacking options is the direct result of this error. Only the skipper to blame I guess. Although a bad position in the start, and even a tack that wen't completly wrong - what was the skipper thinking - we managed to get to bouy 4 not very much behind the leading pack. Some points of interessest - we passed Xdama on leeward with good speed - the skipper had tightened the back stay to the max and this worked for speed it seems.
After rounding pole 4 we went for bouy 8. Some raised the spinnaker and some didn't. The conditions seemed fair so we went for spinnaker as well. It almost worked for some minutes but the wind was shifting so the spinnaker had to be taken down after short time. The skipper had planned for a styreboard takedown, which might have worked well. He should have pointed the boat to the mark to fly the spinnaker after removing the boom. Well, he didn't and it became a bit more difficult to take the spinn down. We managed after a while but I guess we lost some boats in this operation. We rounded bouy 8 as last express I guess.
The wind was building up, and seemed extreem to us on bord. Well, in fact it was about 12-13 m/s - not extreem, but handling must be done with care. Somehow the skipper didn't manage to maintain an even distribution of force on the sails - bot sails was acting a bit hysterical - the main was in bottom leeward position but the sails where screaming in punishment. The desition was taken to lower the jib. This was done in a great deal of difficulty. The cleat somehow remains shut. I believe the release of down haul eased the relase, but this is still a point of interest.
We finished by the main only. Siri was sitting on the jib and refused to move - this was pure mutiny. Well, somehow we managed to finsh as 14 of 19 boats. With all the errors the skipper did this is a truly remarkable.
This was not very good training conditions for an untrained crew, but you get what you get and hope for the best :-)
Thanks to the crew wich allmost stayed with me, for most of the time :-) Next time there is a mutiny you will have to use the plank.
Your humbled skipper... (Preben)