Race Report Morgan Cup

Purple Mist
Skipper: Kate Cope
Mon 27 Jun 2022 10:09

Friday night was RORC Morgan cup . A race to Dartmouth with a lap of the Isle of Wight thrown in for good measure. Weather was forecast to start with a SW sea breeze then die away to nothing overnight before going Northerly and steadily increasing to 20kts by the finish .
This was my second race with Claire as mile building for our Transat in January.
We had a good start with the big spinnaker flying and were right behind Jangada. Wind was a pleasant 10-15kts and all was well. At one point we were catching up but mostly we held position. JAGO had gone more North and seemed to be in a bit of a pickle with the spinnaker.
The start behind us had the added complication of a cruise ship right on the course , it clearly wasn’t happy as we heard it give some of the racers 5 toots.
Just off Ryde there was a band of no wind and the whole fleet stopped. This is more than a bit frustrating as everyone behind still in wind gets a chance to catch up. We all hovered around going nowhere except Jangada who somehow found a Zephyr of wind and slid ahead of the fleet. Anyway the wind returned and we carried on alibi in a less favourable position.
Round the Forts and down to Bembridge it was light but we were moving , also we still had favourable tide but not for long.
After Bembridge the tide was against us and it was a strong spring tide. The fleet split some went offshore to get more wind, Jangada even ended up launching their kedge anchor for 15mins, however we decided to get out of the tide and head inshore …like really inshore …rock dodging inshore . This paid off tremendously as we picked up a katabatic breeze off the unusually hot land and crept round the cliffs at Culver cliff. The Katabatic was really weird and at one point we tacked and ended up being so lifted we were making the same course as before the tack ..that’s weird.
This was our highlight of the race as you see from the snapshot Purple Mist really moved ahead of the fleet with only Sunrise a much higher rated JPK 11.80 boat ahead of us.
We were still going relatively well until Shanklin when we fell into a hole. By this time the rest of the fleet had spotted us and were bearing down on us kite flying. We tried to go to the Zero as the wind was so fluky I was afraid of wrapping the spinnaker , however in the dark we got the halyard was the wrong side of the forestay and whilst we quickly sorted it out all of a sudden we had boats everywhere around us.
Chilli Pepper the eventual winner was so close we could chat. The only saviour was a back eddy as we had zero boat speed for what felt like forever. When we finally popped out at Ventnor we had lost lots of places and were still drifting. Also drifting was Palanade 3 a usually very fast Class 40 which I’m sure was pretty embarrassed to be alongside a 3200 after 7hrs of racing . Purple Mist drifted over to say hello and we did actually bump into each other though not hard enough to do any damage.
Good news now was the promised Northerly was starting to fill in and the tide was turning so we started to slide along nicely . By St Cats we finally could sail again and at 4am could start some off watches …well at least we got 2hrs each
The rest of the race was a reach , alternating between the zero and the jib. We were moving well but the new 3300s love a reach and were really flying along. In the final results the top four places were all 3300s so well done to all those skippers . Jangada and JAGO were now miles ahead sadly , but we were having our own little race with Malice. We watched them swop jibs as the wind was now up at 20ks , it’s a slow old job swopping sails , we came powering on past them with the big jib still flying.
The final leg the wind went slightly behind to 120’ , it was 15-20kts and due to build but as fortune favours the brave …and Malice had a kite up ….we quickly launched the A5. ….then broached…recovered and had a good run of over 10kts boat speed with spray flying in all directions. As the wind hit 25kts and we couldn’t make the mark our little blast was over all too quickly and we doused the kite and went back to the jib which we then had to quickly sneak the reef into . Sea state was getting pretty heavy so we closed the final stages getting regularly splashed by big waves.
Final results
4th / 8 In class 3 which I’m happy about
14th / 21 in DH which is just about OK
16th / 41 in overall IRC which is pretty good
The doublehanders really swept the board again with the top 4 places and 7 of the top 10 boats.
Nothing broken and no damage other than a bit of a sore head after a few too many rum and cokes when we finished the race. Somehow Purple Mist ended up as the provider of pre dinner drinks and nibbles and Jangada and JAGO were aboard helping us polish off a bottle of rum and 2 bottles of red wine.
Now on the 90NM delivery home which has been quite tough for a lot of the boats. The wind went NE so bang on the nose and stayed up at 20+kts for 36hrs. I’ve heard tales of damage and boats turning back . We didn’t fancy up to 24hrs of beating into heavy seas so we and JAGO elected to spend an extra day in Dartmouth had a lovely Sunday Roast and are currently motoring home in bright sunshine and 7kts. It’s amazing how quickly the wind died mid morning. We suffered 3hrs of upwind crap but then it’s all been plain sailing .