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2023 RTIR Report

Round The Island Race 2023 - 1st July 2023


The mandatory evening meal at Wildwood in Port Solent enabled the crew of Nina Wilson, Geoff Johns, Tony and Carol Campion, Simon Owen-Johnstone, Jane Scott-Davies, Jeff Townsend and Neil Brettell, to be ready for practice day on Friday on our Sunsail Beneteau 410 'Mermaid Spirit'.

Westerly F4-6 squally and damp conditions curtailed practice day drills to white sails with a couple of reefs and a dry run only with the spinnaker pole.

An excellent meal on Friday evening at Moocow in Cowes (highly recommended) with crew bedecked in team T-shirts courtesy of the Mermaid Gin Distillery (our boat sponsors) led to a relatively early night, via a little dancing in The Anchor, ready for a 06:00 start on race day.

With a race start of 08:20, we headed off into the West Solent towards the Needles channel with our matched fleet of Sunsail boats. Initially heading for the mainland shallow water to avoid the first hour of foul tide.

Progress was good in the fresh F4 gusting F6 winds enabling us to leave the Needles just after 11:00. In the Fresh to Strong wind and a moderate sea state we took the decision to run on whites only along the South side of the island. A well measured decision in retrospect, we lost a little ground but witnessed many broaches and blown spinnakers.

Rounding Bembridge a little after 15:00 we struggled with the foul tide beat to Ryde which seemed to take an age. Eventually passing Ryde pier we could beat better in shallow water made all the more exciting in a busy water needing lots of short tacks. A great workout for tired muscles ! We eventually crossed the finish line a little after 19:30, all glad to have completed what was an exciting and at times challenging days sailing.

Sunday gave us the opportunity for a more leisurely morning and a pleasant sail back to Portsmouth during which we managed to fly the beautifully painted 'Mermaid Spirit' spinnaker.

A huge thanks to Nina for organising a fantastic weekend, including ordering some good winds. Thanks to my fellow crew members for making this a memorable experience.

2 boats next year ??

Tony Campion

Final Race Results: 8th out of 12 Sunsail 410 class: overall position 483rd out of a total of 1100 entrants.

Log Entry:

Friday, 30th June 23 - Training day. Wind W 18-25 knots. Saturday, 1st July 23 - Race day - Wind WSW 20-25 knots early on decreasing later to 16-20 knots. Sunday, 2nd July 23 - Return to Port Solent. Wind W 15-18 knots. Logged miles - 120 nm / 3 days / Tidal / 0 Hrs Nights. Yacht: Sunsail 410 - Mermaid Spirit. Skipper: Nina Wilson / Mate: Geoff Johns.

Last updated 15:28 on 12 November 2023

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