Fast down wind sail!

The forecast was north-westerly force 5 gusting 6, but I think it was a little more!


The forecast today was north then northwest force 5 gusting 6 which was a downwind sail, Vicki and I had sailed our last yacht quite a few times in the same sort or conditions but this would be the first time in our Sadler 29. Just how fast could Elektra go and still stay safe was the thing I did not know, so I used my smart phone to contact other S29 owners on the facebook SSOA page and got three answers before we started our passage home. The advise was 6-7kts in good conditions, my feeling was to keep her speed under that on our first strong downwind sail.


The wind seemed very strong as I winched up the cable and got ready to get underway. At 1450 the anchor was up and stowed and Vicki motored Elektra out of Channels Creek and past Turnaware Buoy as I set just the genoa with one reef. Stopping the engine we soon picked up speed, we had to follow the channel down the Carrick Roads to St Just in Roseland, now logging 5kts SOG against the in coming spring tide. There were not many sailing yachts out today and those which were out had very little sail up, two yachts came out of St Mawes heading for Falmouth a 45ft ketch with just her genoa out and a “Cornish Cruising” yacht with three reefs in the main and a little genoa, both of which had to tack twice into wind to get into Falmouth.



As we headed out past Pendennis Point, there were no sails in Falmouth Bay where we were heading, I had turned another reef into the genoa then we lost the wind off the point but it was soon back again and we set off across the bay logging between 5.5-6.3kts SOG. We sailed into a little sheltered waters before getting into Gillan which was handy as we slowed down to about 4kts. I picked up the mooring at 1620hrs having logged 8.5nm, the max speed on the GPS was 7.2kts. Elektra was jumping around a bit on the mooring so we quickly packed up and went ashore.

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