After a day of rain, thunder and lightning, it was nice to get to the dock to see the skies clearing. The wind was blowing (!) in from the West, and the Quinn-patented nipple-ometer recorded gusts of 4 knots. It was going to be a slow night.
The wind direction meant a spinnaker start. We started not too badly, and immediately had Richard Neame calling “starboard” on us, even though we were sailing downwind and he was on port. A big bunch of boats gybed at once, causing mass movements across the harbour. The big J125 Crossfire took a while to get moving, but once under steam was scything through the fleet.
The course meant nipping out into the Great Sound briefly, so a short course. By the time we had reached Two Rock several beers had been consumed, the chute had collapsed half a dozen times, and we had crept backwards slightly. but no-one cared as we were a) in Bermuda, b) not working and c) enjoying a frosty beverage or two.
In the Sound the fleet spread out. Some boats opted to round the mark and then head for land (Long Island) - hoping to catch a breeze off the shoreline. Others (including us) didn’t. The shoreline boats fared better. At Two Rock on the way back in there seemed to be a lot of shouting from Rhadical, which was being squeezed up onto the infamous “Three Rock” despite calling for water. We avoided most of the melee because we were close to the back of the fleet. The boat, however, was getting lighter as we emptied beer cans. I can attest to the difficulty of flying a spinnaker one-handed whilst drinking with the other.
Luckily, Pete Ramsdale was not doing Race Committee, which meant no sailing down the harbour and back up again. As we headed towards the Dinghy Club the sun came out - finishing off a great evening’s sailing.