Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Sunnier, Wavier, Windier. Being careful what you wish for.

In my last missive from Hyeres I signed off with the news that there were Waves and Breeze on the way and likened this to a lotto win. I think what I should have wished for was a Scratch Card win rather than a Euromillions Jackpot.

On Tuesday the wind arrived from the East. When it blows into Hyeres Bay in this direction it kicks up a demon swell with a really short wavelength. This makes for a very demanding upwind followed by a, well, very demanding downwind.

Copyright Thom Touw - from event FB page. 
Yesterday was some of the most exhilarating sailing I think most of the team have ever done. After pounding upwind for 15 minutes it was hang on tight as you screamed down the blast reaches and runs. Thankfully the water temp is very palatable so shipping waves and swimming (most people seem to have had at least one) is not the same chore as it is at home. Needless to say the apres sailing yesterday had an energised buzz about it.

This morning the clink clink clink of halyards against masts was the first sign that today's conditions we're going to be even more demanding. In the boat park there was a palpable air of people trying to be calm but knowing they were heading out to tough conditions.

Hyeres brings the pain - and the joy.
Results for the day are not yet posted but on the Bravo race course the Masters fleets got started fairly cleanly and Nick Walsh rounded the bottom gate in 3rd, a position he held onto till the end. In the same race and same fleet Ed Rice was also going great guns, rounding the gate in about 15th but a swim later in the race put paid to that position.

For the apprentice fleet there was a very long delay to get going, almost two hours, but this didn't bother Thomas Chaix who posted a 12th in the first.

In the Great Grand Masters Denis O'Sullivan was very well placed on the leaderboard overnight so it'll be interesting to see the results coming from the Alpha Course.

Tomorrow the forecast is similar, perhaps a little more breeze, and those waves.. they're going nowhere! If it really blows maybe the RC will give  the lay day they took from us today to catch up on the race schedule. I know there are many sailors in the boat park wishing for a break to recoup mind and body after today.

A demain,


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