A view from Bryan Davies, Skipper of Jaguar Logic.
Each Sunday during the Hamble Winter Series there are two races, and after a poor first race, the crew on Jaguar Logic were a little despondent, but we had a team chat and hyped each other up to get back into the start of the next race. As so often is the case, mental attitude counts for as much as physical ability.
The conditions were very light, with winds dropping from 8 knots to below 5 kts, so finding the wind was going to be critical. We thought the left side looked more promising. After an okay start, both VisitMaltaPuma and Vortex X35 (current series leaders) rolled us to windward and with another boat pushing us up from leeward, this completely closed our lane - we had to tack out to find clear wind.
We regained boat speed, but we’d been spat out the at back of the group and were behind our main rivals VisitMaltaPuma! It turned out that there was more breeze on the right side of the course, giving some of the fleet a huge advantage, and we approached the top mark at the back of the fleet. Not a good start.
But remembering our team chat we weren’t about to give up! After rounding the top mark, we launched the kite and gybed almost immediately so we could chase down some breeze on the right hand side of the course. Only one other boat had gone right - Panther Logic, another Sailing Logic Reflex 38 with the London Corinthian crew onboard. A bad gybe unfortunately lost us much of the gains we had made on the right, but the battle was not over. With the wind dying down dramatically we still had a chance.
After the bottom mark, everyone went right as that had been the favoured side last time. We felt the left looked better but it was too great a risk to separate ourselves from the fleet, so we stayed in the middle of the course. But after 20 mins of painfully slow sailing, we spotted some ripples on the left hand side and decided to take the risk. And what a decision!! We overtook VisitMaltaPuma at last! The crew were thrilled, but a poor tack decision just short of lay line meant that we had to do two extra tacks, and we lost ground again and Puma re-established their lead on us.
On the final leg, the top three boats again went right but VisitMaltaPuma went left, keeping tacking to a minimum to maintain boat speed. We played safe in the middle of the course. Then, breeze started building from the left, but to get there we would have to over-lay the finish mark and to sail around the fleet. But that’s what we did. VisitMaltaPuma were just to windward of us, close enough for the some banter between the crews. Both boats were sailing well at 5.5kts, but we were determined to win. Jaguar Logic’s crew were all working overtime; altering jib cars, checking and rechecking sail settings and adjusting the weight distribution to keep boat speed. With the breeze ahead starting to head us too – it all paid off and we gradually overtook VisitMaltaPuma (finally)!
Now they were getting our dirty wind and a little gust of fresh pressure reached us first to widen the gap and we crossed the line just 1 minute and 18 seconds ahead. Giving us 2nd place and VisitMaltaPuma 3rd.
A fantastic result achieved by good team work and great team spirit, especially after rounding the first mark at the back of the fleet! Congratulations Jaguar Logic Crew!