Round The Island 2011

I’m so proud of my team.


After waking up in Swanwick Marina at 0350 we motored across to the start line at Cowes for our 0640 start. Conditions were pretty tough. We experienced Force 7 most of the day and we sailed with two reefs in the main until the last couple of hours. There was a massive swell at the back of the island – some commentators put it at 20 feet – which made the broad reach a real surfing experience.

Our tactics were “Stay out of trouble” which broadly succeeded! If in doubt, we chickened out.

We raced a Bénéteau Oceanis 43 in the ISC Class 4 Race. 180 boats entered this class but only 132 completed the race. Our time was 9 hours and 36 minutes, placing us 118th on handicap in our class and 25th in our sub-class.

All in all, over 1900 boats entered the race but only 1302 finished. The radio was alive all day with Mayday and Pan calls all day. We saw four boats dismasted and at least two multihull boats capsized. There were two man-overboard incidents. We witnessed four boats aground on Ryde Sands – we only avoided it by 100 yards or so. Achieved Track

Thank you Karen, Jonathan, Subhrendu, Simon C, Simon P, Tony, Robin, Claire and Esmy for helping to make the weekend safe and enjoyable. And thank you to Universal Yachting for letting us borrow their yacht, and of course thanks to the Island Sailing Club for organising it all.

Links: Slideshow from the Official Photographer Videos on YouTube Official Website Emergencies Galore Sailors rescued in rough conditions

(Next year’s race is 30 June!)


I’ve just discovered Windguru. It’s a weather forecast website aimed at sailors of all types.

There are highly detailed forecasts for many areas, and best of all, the basic service is free!

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Sailing Finished (For A Bit)

Yachtmaster (Offshore) Course complete, followed by Powerboat Level 2 and Powerboat Advanced. That’s all the sailing until we pick up our charter boat for our Greek holiday.

Thanks to all the Hot Liquid and Duck-2-Water Instructors for their patience, and all the new friends I’ve made along the way.

Some recent photos:

There are more photos on my Mobile Me site (and on Flickr): Yachtmaster Week 1 Yachtmaster Week 2 Yachtmaster Week 3 Yachtmaster Week 4 Yachtmaster Week 5 Yachtmaster Week 6

Sailing Photos

Not much in the way of blogging recently, I’m in the middle of a seven-week Yachtmaster Course. Here are a few images taken in the Solent, the English Channel, Cherbourg and the Channel Islands.

There are more photos on my Mobile Me site (and on Flickr): Yachtmaster Week 1 Yachtmaster Week 2 Yachtmaster Week 3

Round The Island Race 2010

We had a magnificent weekend taking part in the Round The Island Race 2010. It’s the biggest sailing race in the world, and it takes place from Cowes to Cowes around the Isle of Wight.

1670 boats started the race, with the first batch off at 0500. We were sailing a Sunsail 37 and our group of 69 crossed the start line at 0520. We finished at 14:20:23 in 12th place and a great time was had by all.

Il Pleut Toujours

It’s still raining.

Today’s forecast was showers and Force 2 to 4. We decided to sail from Île de Porquerolles to Sanary, between Toulon and Marseille. Half an hour after slipping out of the harbour the rain started. There was a big, stationary, thunderstorm to the west of our track and we were catching the edge of its rain. A couple of hours later it was still raining and it didn’t make any sense to continue to Sanary so we diverted north to St Mandrier-sur-Mer, just south of Toulon.

We’re now in a café blogging, drinking pression, and staying dry for a change!


Back in Cavalaire-sur-Mer

It’s been raining for three days now. We’ve been told it’s the first rain here since May – it’s certainly making up for it.

After a windy night in Port Grimaud we decided to make a run for it back to Cavalaire-sur-Mer. It took three hours, and the weather wasn’t as bad as forecast, but the decision was sound as we’ve got a much more sheltered mooring in the marina here and it was blowing Force 7-8 last night.

So today is shopping, drying clothes and generally chilling. If it’s better tomorrow we’ll try for the island of Porquerolles.