Over powered and underestimated
Jo Grindley was sitting down by the side of a tent looking very salty, wind burnt and exhausted but still wearing a smile after a full-on hairy hurl around the course today.
Jo crews for Shirley Robertson regularly on both the Yngling and the Cork 1720 Skandia Life and described her day: "We knew it was going to be windy today so we called Jo Richards one of GBR Challenge's design team to get his advice on whether we should take our little jib and he said the breeze should be between force 3-5 and wouldn't need it. We had a superb start in clear air for the first beat where we were short tacking down the mainland shore. We even overstood the first mark but had enough distance to maintain our lead. We were then on a reach and the breeze kept increasing to around 28knots and then things just started to go wrong. On the first hoist we trawled the kite but when we did get it up we were just flying and its quite scary when your surfing so fast at 15knts dodging cruising boats when it can all go so wrong so quickly".
Jo added: "after battling the downwind leg we found that we were too overpowered. The mainsail was flogging and later ripped between two batons on the leech so we had to retire"
You can't hold back Julian Grindall's enthusiasm with his J/105 J-Go: " it was the most fantastic day - just awesome. We were second around the first mark after Full Pelt and cruised along at 14knts 'whooping and cheering' and from then on just protected our lead." So far J-Go has got two firsts and a second and looks like a serious contender to take the week.
The Hunter 707 class had an equally fiery day with plenty of surfing, broaching ripping and bailing, but Nick Wood's Emu Excursion took the lead by a considerable distance. He managed to handle the boat so well in today's tough conditions and held his lead for the entire race. Many of the other boats had a hard time staying up right - one boat broached with the crew stuck on the leeward rail making it even harder for the helm to get them upright and regain steerage.
Many other boats in various classes suffered rig losses and shredded sails. In all it was an expensive day for owners and a profitable one for riggers and sailmakers. With more breeze forecast for tomorrow this fashion may continue.