Two Tider Sunday 19th May 2019

Club member Dave Barrett tells his story following his first two-tider that took place on Sunday 19th May 2019.

The race scheduled for Sunday 19th May 2019 was a Two Tide Rally, not done one of those before, not sure what it is, but found out crewing for Dave Jackson on Super Sapphire (a Sarum 28). One other boat took part, Rob & Michael Joce on Amrum (an Achilles 840).

So the format was:

  • Start at No 3 (was-2) at 08:00, go as far west as possible, and get back before 19:00.

  • Record position every hour.

  • Record position @time when turning for home.

  • Record position & time when back at no.3

  • Distance sailed adjusted on boat handicap.


Penalties are incurred if you’re late back (1NM for every 10 mins). Penalties are incurred if you have to do any motoring. You must record your positions when you start and stop motoring.


So the trick is judging when to turn for home, based on wind direction, strength and tide times, and your salty-seadog sense to get back just before 19:00.

Scoring is a bit more complicated than a normal race:

  • Distance: Convert most westerly longitude into distance in NM west of the start

  • Late penalty: If past finish time, round up finish time to nearest 10 mins. Penalty is 1NM for every 10mins late.

  • Motoring penalty: From motoring position(s), work out distance(s) motored.

  • Adjusted Distance = Distance – Late penalty – Motoring penalty

  • Corrected Distance = Adjusted Distance * Boats PY handicap / 1000


We both set off on time, and were close together up to Watchet where Amrum overtook us. Near Minehead, the wind filled in a bit, Super Sapphire pulled ahead, and eventually we lost sight of Amrum. We did hourly shifts on the helm, and were close hauled pretty much all the way and with the slightly varying NW and only had to tack a few times.


After a bit of lunch, Dave did his calculations, and decided to turn for home about 30 mins after low water. We had been going 6h10m, were 33 NM from home with 4h50m till 7pm. I was not sure we would make it!

Dave navigated us back near Minehead on a broad reach, and then we were running, goosewinged with pole up. We had to Gybe a few times to keep on track and had no accidental gybes. The chart plotter was showing our ETA at about 21:00, but as the flood tide took us that came right down to 18:45!


We caught sight of Rob and Michael again about half way back, they looked like they were up near Steep Holm. The hand bearing compass confirmed we were converging, and near Burnham we were within ½ mile of each other again. Dave helmed the last bit, and we reached no. 3 at 18:51:10, with Amrum just 5 mins behind us – near perfect timings!


Our westerly was 003 49.45, and Amrum was 003 46.1.

It was an enjoyable day’s sail in good conditions. The shift pattern worked well and allowed me some R-R while Dave did various jobs around his boat.


It was great to have another boat for company and to finish so close together. I was surprised how quickly time flew and am looking forward to doing it again soon, maybe on Enchanta next time :-)


David Barrett, co-owner of Enchanta (a Hunter Horizon 26)

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