Rather controversial starting option in that we were given the choice of either route out of the Solent from the start at Royal Thames. As the tide was East going for two hours and Bembridge was down wind we decided to take the 5 mile longer route and head for the Forts. Good progress at first with the spinnaker but wind died as we approached No Mans Land so dousing the kite we headed across Ryde Sands, inside the Forts and cut inside Bembridge as it was the top of the tide (also fingers firmly crossed as boat has history with Bembridge). Good night time sailing out through the multitude of moored ships to the East of the Island and headed into the Channel. As forecast the wind died and turned round to a South Easterly but maintained our good position at the head of the fleet even though our wind instrument had not been re-wired correctly and the windex was misaligned. As we approached Cherbourg got the kite back up and thought we could easily make the finish line just inside the Western entrance, not quite the case as we needed to head up to get across the line and lost some time heading for the inner breakwater at a shallow angle. Ended up 2nd by just 32 seconds to Spirit of St George which went via the Needles so two lessons learnt, Cherbourg finish is around the corner if approaching from the West and 5 miles shorter race distance is probably better option.What appears to becoming our normal post race situation in that we should have lost our rig over the side sometime the previous night as we found that the starboard shroud fixing was loose. Slackening the rig off revealed that the below deck bottle screw had pulled out of the newly reinforced shroud base so that the rig was only held up by the strength of the deck. Needless to say remedial action was taken and rather more painful remedial action with the boat repairers contemplated!