Over the Easter weekend I joined John Rutherford and a mixed crew from the Royal Southern, Solent University and BP for the JOG race to Cherbourg and back. The main point of note was 3deg less wind chill. After an 8am start, pretty consistent weather with around a 20 knot easterly rising to an exciting 30+ in Cherbourg Harbour, how did that happen?
As usual we should have reefed earlier than we did which set some adrenalin going but otherwise it was a point and go 190deg all the way. We had the heater on for the 3 days, with a watch system to keep us warmed up. This also contributed to a late breakfast on Saturday followed by drinks at the sailing club for lunch, comfort food down below for tea and finally a Cowboy themed restaurant for the evening and an early night before the trip back. Coming back was much the same albeit an earlier start and with the clocks going forward. An excellent start from a tiny corner of the harbour put us in good stead for 10deg back to Cowes, this time with some light snow flurries mid channel which was nice. Crossing both ways was about 10hrs and we came 6th each time I think with a very close field. Shame it wasn’t warmer but all in all a good brisk sail to clean out the cobwebs.