Trip on Spring Fever starting 2015-09-12 in BSASep15

THE HOLMS RACE 12/9/2015 – report by Bob Buchanan

Skipper Geoffrey Louch. Crew Bob BuchananPaul Ashbee

Boat M.G Spring 25, ‘Spring Fever’.

I arrived at Portishead marinaMap at 08.30 unloaded my gear and watched a few yachts going out through the lock to take part in the Holms race.

The start line is between the end of the pier and ‘Firefly’, a green can, then down to the N.W. Elbow cardinal buoy then to Flat Holm, taking it to Port, over to Steep Holm taking it to port, back up to NW Elbow taking it to starboard, then on to the finish, a line from Battery Point and ‘Newcome’, a red can, a total distance of about 40NM. The race starts at 1.5 hrs after high water (09.00).

I got back from the café with the sandwiches to see some of the yachts that had gone out coming back in; they said a force 5/6 was too much. Our lock out was at 10.00 for a 10.15/10.30 start.

We got into the bay, pulled up the main with two reefs in and unfurled the Genoa halfway. We decided to go at 10.30, crossing the line and heading into a F6 S/W tacking down towards the first mark “N.W.Elbow”. The weather then got worse, rain and going up to F7/8. We were going to put a third reef in, but it soon passed over, in-between a gust had caught us out and I thought we were going to capsize, we were all thrown over from port side to starboard, the cockpit was filled with water and we all ended up in a pile in the cockpit. The next hour was out with the reefs, because the wind had dropped, then back in with the reefs, as the wind picked up, then back out with the reefs, as the wind died down again.

We approached Flat HolmMap at 13.30 bang on low water. From there it was one hell of a ride over to Steep HolmMap, the Severn chop turned into huge rollers, almost throwing boats out of the water, it was a fantastic sight, after rounding Steep Holm, the wind was on our port quarter, time to get the sandwiches and soup and coffee out, From here, we were surfing all the way up to N.W.Elbow. The GPS went from 6, 7, 8, knts to 11, 12knts peaking at 12.4knts. We crossed the lineMap, full main and full Genoa, goosewinged, at 16.10pm.

These times are only what I have been told.

We came 26 out of 39 that finished. There were about 50 boats entered.

Please look on Portishead Cruising Club Holms race for official results.

Portishead marina  51.4895,-2.7602
Flat Holm  51.3781,-3.1225
Steep Holm  51.3393,-3.109
Battery Point, Portishead  51.495,-2.7579