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.
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.
(Next year’s race is 30 June!)