A fleet of dinghies sailing off Shoreham

A day of contrasts

For those of us not involved, the long week of Cowes Week has dragged. I’ll have been without a helm for 10 days by the time my salty sailor comes home. Yes, yes, independent woman and all that, but I can’t very well sail a two-man boat by myself!

Anyway, it means we’re three sails down, and we’re getting twitchy. Hopefully Saturday will dawn bright and breezy…

In contrast to my last post, about the hairiest sail yet, the sail I’m about to write about was the calmest sail yet. As the race started, Shoreham had turned into the Doldrums. It was a joint race between Shoreham and Lancing sailing clubs, and as we all crossed the start line, there were around 40 boats desperately slipping their way forward.

The Lasers were all lying up on their bows like a fleet of seals, people were standing in the centre of their boats, and G and I were crouched on either side, and far forward on Di.

Slowly…slowly….sloooooowly boats trickled round the first mark and picked up speed. Seeing the Merlins ahead begin to pick up, our spirits lightened. We just had to make it to the first mark before the lot behind us, and we’d be grand.

Well, we did it, but blimey it was a tricky one! The concentration and lightness of foot needed for sailing in light winds!

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As the boats began to line up for the next race, the breeze was picking up. Hallelujah! Di picked up a gust a joyously heeled over – I could actually sit up on the side! You know something, I’m starting to crave the hiking. It’s by far the best place to be in the boat, and you get a thrill from leaning back out and holding for as long as you can. And it really makes her faster.

The second race was fantastic. We had so much fun. And only one Laser boom to the head (George’s). 15 boats piling round a mark at the same time is a hectic thing!

After we’d pulled the boats ashore, we met Martyn, G’s dad. He’d taken the photos I’ve inserted (thank you, Martyn), and we trundled off to the pub for a well-earned lunch. Two burgers and a fish and chips and three pints of Doom Bar, thank you very much. A brilliant morning followed by a lovely afternoon.

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Not bad, hey? That said, my bruises have all but disappeared now. Must mean there’s sailing to come soon?! I think I can feel a breeze picking up…

Ciaou for now.

 

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