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Portland - 30th November 2003

Having been to the Pub and thought about where to go for the weekend, Chris and I decided to head for Portland to hopefully get flatter water, wind and meet up with Mike and Pierrette Simmons. We certainly got plenty of both.

Driving down we began to realise just how much wind, with the trailer we normally get about 40 mpg, but this dropped to 33 mpg because of the head wind! Approaching Weymouth we also ran into plenty of rain as well and we started to consider if we had made the wrong choice particularly as we don’t have any sails smaller than 4.7m.

We arrived at the boat yard to an absolute gale raging (SW) and the rain lashing down, parked and thought - no body was on the water and the car park was not that full. Thankfully Mike and Peirrette were already parked and we all ended up in their camper van and had a very welcome cup of coffee.

We were able to keep an eye on the wind and rain based on the amount of swaying and battering being experienced in their van. After about 45 minutes of chatting the wind began to drop and we actually noticed someone on the water, they had up a 3.5m sail and were generally flying. Within the hour the wind had dropped enough for us to considering rigging up our 4.7 for Chris and 5m for myself, Mike ended up with his 5.4m, Peirrette wasn’t sure about going out.

By the time we had changed and rigged up the rain had also stopped and we had what looked like the classic Portland conditions, force 5/6 SW and no rain. Mike, Chris and I made it onto the water and had some of our best sailing this year, there was plenty of wind blown chop to start with and we were certainly slightly overpowered, but we were able to practice all the things we thought we were forgetting from our Moonbeach trip.

Later on Mike changed to a slightly bigger sail and Peirrette joined us on the water and really enjoyed the day. Later on the sun came out, the wind veered around to the west dropping a tad – but picked up again about an hour later to make some of the best sailing conditions. Mike was last off since Chris and I came off after having been blasting for about 2/3 hours non stop, I couldn’t feel my feet and chris was cold and tired. Mike changed up again and spent longer on the water with some excellent wind using my Techno e 112. (Need to find out what he thought of it)

Kit used, I was on my Techno 263e 112 with 5m Gaastra all day, Chris was on her Starboard Freesex 97 and 4.7m North. Sorry Mike I cant remember the exact kit you were using – but is was small but effective!.

What a classic Portland day again – I’m sorry, but I think its one of our best venues (other than Daymer Bay – but that’s another story)

Chris & Gerry Sanders

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