Sun 13 – Sun 20 August
After a rather relaxed morning, the plan was to venture out of Portland Marina and into Weymouth Bay for a couple of races. The first race was around an hour and forty minutes and Challenger 1, that was us, emerged victorious. Challenger 1 was racing across the start line at the sound of the gun, putting us ahead of the pack to begin with. We battled upwind zig-zagging towards the first buoy, thereafter taking a tack to continue our course heading downwind it was clear that with the expertise of Kiran at the helm and Ewen, our present tactician, our victory was well in our grasp by the half-way point in the race. Sailing to a quick and well deserved victory the crew did a smashing job winching and trimming the boat. The other boats did okay too.
However, the winning did not end there, another quick course was assembled and the second race began. Once again we were first over the line and continued to increase our lead throughout the race by intelligent manoeuvres and tacking tightly round the markers. After finishing through what could be described as threading the needle, we headed into harbour. Yet, the engine decided it did not want to work and with a splutter and a cloud of smoke, literally, we slowly drifted towards a beach… Paul, quickly replaced the impela. We were on our way in moments and continued into Weymouth for a great shower and fish and chips we are currently ready for bed and looking forward to the race to Yarmouth.
Kiran and Atticus
Leaving Dartmouth at about half nine in the morning we set out for Portland bill a roughly 60 mile journey across the bay. We won’t talk about the sail hoisting contest as we unfortunately failed to pull away with the win. We started second in the unofficial race to Portland, really any time we leave harbour it’s a race (for us at least).
We made far better time than planned and found the time to take two hours to hoist the spinnaker pole out over the windward side and then climb the rigging up to it. This fun activity that left the whole crew relaxed and happy unfortunately this meant we lost height and speed compared to the rest of the boats as a result of having to power down the sails. We came into harbour at about 4 o’clock. Although we was the last to pull up the fact that while everyone else motored into harbour and we sailed means that the crew believes that we won the moral victory today.
A nice early start to the day at 7:30am for breakfast was reasonable as the beach was at 8:45am and we had a good few hours to relax and enjoy the morning to mid-day, swimming and eating ice cream with the other fellow crew members on our challenger and the other challengers. This day allow me to meet new people and actually find out what the coast was like as living in a city does not give me the chance to visit beaches/seaside. This day consisted of relaxing until mid-day then the journey to Dartmouth.
We departed Plymouth at roughly half 9 this morning and as the sun came out we motored gently out of the harbour and past the break water. Hoisting the sails as the wind built we enjoyed the hard work and tem work involved in hoisting the main with the sweaters working extremely hardly to get the sails up as fast as they could. We then ventured out under solely the power of our sails towards Salcombe.
As we headed out towards Salcombe we made a total of 5 tacks each one more successful then the last while we steamed ahead of the other boats, although it must be said it was ‘apparently’ not a race. As we approached the headland that Salcombe rests on we made a steady 6-7 knots of ground speed while we ach took a turn on the helm. Then once the wind died we did some MOB (man over board) drills before motoring into port to more up and go and explore the town.
Stepping aboard the Challenger on a sunny Sunday afternoon, all the new crew were in high spirits. We went through an introductory course about manning the ship, which involved a tour from bow to stern. Afterwards, we gathered wet weather gear and scrummaging through endless large and extra extra large trousers until the much sought after shorter trousers were found buried amongst the rubble.
After a few heated arguments over political standpoints and biscuits we engaged in a battle of watches as the mighty runner race commenced. Following some definite cheating from port watch’s own team captain the starboard watch emerged victorious. Then to increase port watch’s sullen moods they began to prepare supper. Luckily, the theme was Mexican so port watch were quickly wrapping fajitas with smiles on their faces. We conclude this short blog with a goodnight from challenger 1 and wish us luck on our voyage to Salcombe tomorrow.
Kiran and Toby