Of the 20 boats entered 13 came to the start line at 08.00 on Saturday 24th August to be set off for Pwllheli by Vice Commodore of the NYC, Larry Power.
Some of the entrants had only recently completed the Fastnet Race and one, “Mojito”, not only completed the Fastnet Race but also took part in Abersoch Week immediately prior to this race, arriving at the NYC pontoons at 06.00 for the 08.00 start!!!
As with this summer we were plagued with good weather but unfortunately little wind was forecast. The forecast was for north-west 15-18k, backing to south west 10-12k and decreasing, wind disappearing in the late afternoon before appearing again in the evening in the north- west. This is exactly what happened. The problem of the light winds was compounded by the exceptionally strong tides on the day and the fact that as the fleet started south the tide had just turned north!!
Because of the uncertainty of the wind and the certainty of the strong tides and particularly the problems it could cause at Bardsey, the Sailing Committee decided to set the course direct to the Finish at Pwllheli.
The fleet left Dublin Bay in the NW wind, most taking the west run tack while some sailed very deep and east. The seas were surprisingly choppy for such tame wind conditions. “Lula Belle” took that charge off the start line and led the fleet down the coast towards Wicklow. The strong wind against tide stirred up the seas producing some spectacular overfalls inshore of the Codling Bank. Tide against the fleet of up to 4k were recorded. AS has become normal in the ISORA races, the J Boats, “Ruth”, “Sgrech” and “Mojito” took to the front with “Adelie” and “Lula Belle” close behind.
Most boats chose to gybe east just north of Wicklow. All of a sudden, out of the east appeared “Yahtzee”!!!!! who crossed in front of most of the fleet but continued her march south. There was good separation of boats along a north-south line heading towards Bardsey Island. It was essential to have passed through Bardsey Sound before 19.00 after which time the tidal gate would slam closed.
The impending light airs appeared to spook some of the fleet with “Satisfaction”, “Sarnia” and “Windshift” retiring by late afternoon. “Obsession” only retired after banging on the closed tidal gate at Bardsey for several hours.
First to reach Bardsey Sound just after 18.30 was “Ruth” followed closely behind by “Mojito” and “Sgrech”. Not far behind them was “Lulla Belle” and “Adelie”. The first three boats managed to get through in slack tide that started to catch the following boats. What happened after this is not clear!!! “Ruth” who was a mere half mile ahead accelerated towards Pwllheli while the progress of all the other boats behind started to falter with the decreasing winds.
“Ruth” steamed across the finish line manned by ISORA Vice Chairman, Gerry Williams of Pwllheli Sailing Club just after 22.00 hours. “Sgrech” managed to haul itself over the finish at 24.00 while “Mojito” took another frustrating hour to cross the finish. At this stage the usually timid tides in Tremadog Bay had been roused and was holding the remainder of the fleet at St Tudwal’s. The fleet were not released until the tide and turned again and the remaining fleet started to limp over the finish line from 05.00 hours.
“Ruth” took line honours and winner Overall and Class 1. Sigma 33 “Elandra” sailed a great race in difficult conditions to snap up Class 2 and Silver Class Overall. See full results below.
The Overall Series is hotting up with “Ruth” out in front but not home safe yet!! There is much to play for in the last two races over the next two weekends. A large fleet is expected for the M2 Day Race and success in this could have a significant effect on overall placings despite the 0.9 points factor. The last race on the 7th September, the James Eadie Race from Pwllheli to Dun Laoghaire, is always well supported. It is hoped that the Overall series will not be decided until the results of the last race are known.
On the Predictwind Tracker issue we had limited success in its use in this race. It would appear that only three boats activated their trackers. Winner “Ruth” used the tracker very successfully and it is clearly displayed on the app or by following this link using Google Chrome or Firefox browser, NOT Internet Explorer:
I will investigate why other trackers did not appear either partially or fully. I would appreciate feedback on this as I see this as a great tool to analyse races afterwards. It is hoped that most boats taking part in the M2 Day Race will use and activate the tracker.
ISORA lynx metmAsts Offshore Series 2013 - after 9 Races: (htm files)
After Race 9 OVERALL
After Race 9 Overall With All Races
After Race 9 Silver Class with All Races
After Race 9 Class 1 With All Races
After Race 9 Class 2 With All Races