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Holms Race 2015

bitbaltic

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21 Nov 2011
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Boat in Milford Haven
Just sent off my entry for the Holms Race, 12 Sept. Crew looking forward to it although we will be at the Corinthian end of the spectrum. Who else is in?
 

trapezeartist

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4 Sep 2009
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On previous occasions I've just been there to make everyone else look good. One year we started late and had 3 knots of tide against us while trying to get past Flat Holm.:sorrow: Another year we were nearly the first boat to Flat Holm, then rounded Steep Holm and stopped while everyone else caught up.:dejection: This year we're going to win. :triumphant::triumphant::triumphant:
 

bitbaltic

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We're in Portishead now. We came for a weekend cruise but have discovered the strategy issue re. Booking a lock-out for the race. You need to book a decent lock-out time from the marina in order to avoid either jilling around for hours before or starting later than your target time.... And of course you can't book the lock until your boat is in the marina already. So the local boats have the plum slots already sown up! Good thing we came this weekend, we have booked a decent slot but we have to leave the boat here all week now in order to keep it. Our original plan was to go home today and sail back on the Friday night before the race, but that risks getting us a rubbish lock-out slot.

Can't help thinking that if you don't have this little but of 'local knowledge' you are at something of a disadvantage and that would apply to many first timers not from Portishead.
 

trapezeartist

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That seems rather odd if it's really true. I certainly didn't know about it. I just phoned up well in advance (knowing that lock-out slots would be at a premium) and asked for the time I wanted.

I'll try to remember to ask when I'm down at the marina tomorrow. If they confirm that's the case, I'll politely suggest that it's not fair to visiting boats. Though do remember that Portishead marina and Portishead Cruising Club are two entirely different entities.
 

bitbaltic

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That seems rather odd if it's really true. I certainly didn't know about it. I just phoned up well in advance (knowing that lock-out slots would be at a premium) and asked for the time I wanted.

I'll try to remember to ask when I'm down at the marina tomorrow. If they confirm that's the case, I'll politely suggest that it's not fair to visiting boats. Though do remember that Portishead marina and Portishead Cruising Club are two entirely different entities.
Yes it's nobody's fault, it's just an interplay between the marina's lock policy and the demand placed on lock-outs by the number of boats there to race on Saturday morning. Don't give the duty berthing master a hard time about it ;) nonetheless once we'd booked our lock out, the marina were clear that if we went out in the meantime, we'd loose it. I guess that would also stop local boats who have booked in advance going for a sail between making their booking and starting the race.

Quite appreciate that PCC and the marina are seperate entities and it's difficult to know what either of them could do to alleviate the issue. The Marina can't get more boats through the lock than it can accommodate. They still need to run scheduled lock-ins for non-race traffic, so they can't much increase lock frequency. I did consider sailing from Cardiff in order to cross the start line on Saturday, but I'd still have to sail up before HW, so that's no better than taking one of the disadvantageous early lock outs.

PCC could raise the issue in the notice of race, but that might actually have the effect of encouraging even more of the local boats to book their lock out even further in advance and making the issue worse.

However, one way or the other, if I'd arrived the night before to find (as the Berthing Master considered likely) that I'd have to lock out a couple of hours before I could even cross the line for the earliest start (and perhaps 3 or 4 hours before I had planned to start) then I would have been committed to crossing the line with an already tired crew and so a likely less competitive boat than I'd expected. This would have coloured my opinion of the race and made me less likely to enjoy it or enter again, so there are consequences for the growth of the event in there, which PCC do need to consider. Yachting in the Bristol Channel needs more visibility- how often are you the only boat out there- and this is the marquee event in the calendar; it doesn't really need a limiting factor on participation or the enjoyment thereof.
 

graham

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16 May 2001
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Why not lock out early and anchor for an hour or two .keep crew happy by using the time for m.aking ba con sarnies.
Your not staying until LW so its possible to anchor far enough out to stay afloat
but still protected from the tide by the pier.
 
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bitbaltic

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21 Nov 2011
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Boat in Milford Haven
We have a good enough lock that we will not need either to anchor or Jill about so no issue. If I had to anchor not sure I'd do so close to locks in case I impede traffic on what is bound to be a very busy day.

Not all crews would see getting up early to go out and sit at anchor as equivalent to being able to use the marina facilities etc up until the point where they can start racing. SWMBO is on the crew and she certainly wouldn't, especially if it's windy.

Similarly not all crews will be kept happy by bacon sarnies (I'm vegetarian!).

Cheers
 

tatali0n

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3 Nov 2014
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Plymouth
Put our entry form in at the end of last week. It'll be our first Holms Race (and only the third time I've raced the boat), so I guess it's our turn to make everybody else look good :)
 

tatali0n

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3 Nov 2014
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Plymouth
Just booked our lock. I suspect we'll need all the time we can get to reach Flat Holm before the tide turns, so if anybody else is aiming for a 9am start, we'll see you then ;)
 

trapezeartist

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Put our entry form in at the end of last week. It'll be our first Holms Race (and only the third time I've raced the boat), so I guess it's our turn to make everybody else look good :)
Making the rest look good is our job. it's the boat's first race of any kind
Thanks guys. It'll save me the bother. :encouragement:
 

bitbaltic

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21 Nov 2011
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2,411
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Boat in Milford Haven
We're in Portishead now. We came for a weekend cruise but have discovered the strategy issue re. Booking a lock-out for the race. You need to book a decent lock-out time from the marina in order to avoid either jilling around for hours before or starting later than your target time.... And of course you can't book the lock until your boat is in the marina already. So the local boats have the plum slots already sown up! Good thing we came this weekend, we have booked a decent slot but we have to leave the boat here all week now in order to keep it. Our original plan was to go home today and sail back on the Friday night before the race, but that risks getting us a rubbish lock-out slot.

Can't help thinking that if you don't have this little but of 'local knowledge' you are at something of a disadvantage and that would apply to many first timers not from Portishead.
Got a completely different story from a completely diferent set of people at Portishead today, the duty guys this morning reckoned we could have booked our Holms race lock and taken the boat back to Cardiff in the meantime no problem.

Quite confusing and a bit annoying because a) it cost about £100 for us all to travel home via taxi and train last weekend and now it seems that was unnecessary, and b) it would have been helpful to have the boat in Cardiff and not Portishead all week.

Who knows what the story will be next year? All part of the learning curve I guess!
 

bitbaltic

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Hmmm. Forecast is getting a bit concerning now! 0600 Met office:

Outlook for the following 24 hours: Westerly 5 to 7, backing southwesterly, then backing southerly later, 4 or 5, increasing 6 later in west. Moderate or rough, becoming slight at times in Bristol Channel. Showers. Good.

Here's a panel from the PredictWind GFS-based model for just after LW. 24kn of wind, gusting ?? off Steepholm.

View attachment 53470

Can't see it be ing very comfortable rounding the islands if that sticks.
 
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bitbaltic

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It did turn out to be a little bit on the lively side :ambivalence:
Yes. Afraid to say we gave it a miss. SWMBO is a nervous sailor and when we got up at 7am she told me she didn't want to come, which was a blow. Had a couple of pals on board but neither of them had sailed the boat before so we went out and had a look and decided not to bother. Contented ourselves with a good sail back to Cardiff yesterday. Suppose there's always next year.....
 

graham

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16 May 2001
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I heard one yacht dismasted . Not sure if they were taking part in the race or not.
 

tatali0n

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3 Nov 2014
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Plymouth
Suppose there's always next year.....
You were far from alone in being sensible :) and I imagine it was indeed lovely sailing back over the Cardiff on Sunday. Had a very pleasant morning playing with a Kestrel dinghy out of Lydney yesterday morning, all sunshine and gentle breezes. A bit of a change of pace from the day before.
 

tatali0n

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They were. One of the PCC boats, off Flatholm :( Cut the wreckage away with bolt cutters and motored back to Portishead.
 

northcave

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26 Feb 2010
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Bristol
They were. One of the PCC boats, off Flatholm :( Cut the wreckage away with bolt cutters and motored back to Portishead.
Yep. No one hurt and a couple of blown out mains also. We stuck up against the sand banks where arguably we didn't get as much of a tidal push but it was much more comfortable than slap bang in the channel.
 
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