Northern Child and Lickety Spilt met their crews in Gunwharf Quays on Friday morning for a practice day in the Solent before going in to Cowes in the afternoon. We motored out the marina and were greeted by a fantastic seabreeze. We beat west along the island shoreline towards Cowes. With Tim directing the crew through how to tack Northern Child smoothly and efficiently. A couple of the crew had a go helming Northern Child. Once we had passed Cowes we hoisted the spinnaker and started flying down wind with the kite up and tide with us. We put in several gybes to ensure everyone was comfortable with the manoeuvres and what needed to be done.
The RTIR start time was very civilised with Green fleet starting at 0730. We left the dock at 0630 and watched IRC 1 yachts fighting it out on the start line for the best position. The weather was perfect we had 14 knots across the deck from the West. The tide had just turned and was running West to help us get to the Needles.
We started mid way along the line and didn’t have a particular good lane. But Tim and Lucy worked together to negotiate Northern Child’s way through the fleet. Northern Child was weaving her way through the fleet with great boat speed and some awesome tacks from the crew.
At the Needles we bore away onto a broad reach and hoist the spinnaker, what a sight it was behind us with a wall of spinnakers behind us. At the needles there was a short chop making going deep more challenging so we had to put in several gybes to keep us out of the strongest tide. The wind accelerated as we sailed through Sandown Bay. We dropped the spinnaker at Bembridge ready for the final leg of the race. We were on a fetch as we head towards Ryde Sands, at Ryde sands we harden up and were now close hauled. It was a compromise between tacking into the shallows in less tide and being in slightly more tide but sailing a shorter distant. We tacked in once and then laid the finish line.
We finished in 7 hours 9 minutes. 9 minutes over are record and 100 seconds ahead of Lickety Split on corrected time.