22nd March 2019
Blustery winds and challenging sea conditions made for an exciting day of racing for Turn to Starboard as a crew set sail for the first sailing regatta of the season.
Nine Sunsail First 40 yachts raced together in The Gill Sunsail Racing Series at Gosport on Saturday 16 March, with the charity crew reaching a respectable fifth place overall.
What was meant to be a two-day regatta became one when forecasted 40-knot gusts cancelled the second day of racing.
Turn to Starboard Race Officer, John Savage, said: “Race one was a steep learning curve as the five crew members all worked together for the first time this season. A sixth place result was not bad for what was the smallest crew on the water. Tactical changes on race two, with a better start and adjusted up-wind trim helped to secure a fourth-place finish before a much-needed lunch.
“Race 3 saw the Turn to Starboard boat start brilliantly and take the better tactical line to the first mark, leading for the whole of the upwind leg. Some unfortunate calls on the tacks meant that we took third place on the downwind leg and once again in close quarters to Sunsail boat #24, who was proving to be a fun competitor. A nip and tuck first downwind leg, saw 24 overtake, but then rap his foresail on the mark allowing us to recover to third position. The two boats were blow-for blow over the next two legs and Sunsail 24 just took the advantage collecting the third position at the line.
“Race 4 saw a late start by Turn to Starboard meaning that all was to play for on the race. A hard fought upwind leg meant that valuable distance was clawed back, with a good downwind strategy meaning we were back with the fleet. A further beat to mark 3 saw us competing for places and with a mistake by two Sunsail boats on the mark, we jumped two places which were held to the line, seeing an improved seventh position finish.
“A really run day was had on the water in blustery conditions, with all crew working hard on what was a light handed boat. More racing to follow and spaces available throughout the season.”
The Gill Sunsail Racing Series offers seven competitive weekends of thrilling round the cans racing, longer coastal race and offshore course. Podium winners from each chapter automatically qualify for the Gill Sunsail Racing Series Final to take place in November.
If you are affected by military service and would like to try your hand at yacht racing, contact Helen or Paul on 01326 314262 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.