Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Round the Island Race - 2011

This is turning into a bit of a summer of "almosts" on the sailing front... two weeks ago I almost made the Nab Tower (that's still unfinished business!), and this weekend just gone we almost got to the first mark of the Round the Island Race in "Ami-Ly", Rod's boat...

We were all so disappointed, but it was very clear even when we got to the boat at 0400 in the morning to make our way to the start line that it was going to be touch and go...

..imagine the scene if you will, dark, raining and a force 5 minimum as we left the pontoon and proceeded past Portchester Castle (you've got to think what it must have been like for those Romans Soldiers all those years ago - used to Mediterranean temperatures and then faced with weather like we had in... in JUNE for goodness sakes!)

Didn't get any better as we made our way with a whole load of other boats to the start line off Cowes, it did lighten up in the way that it became daylight, but no sun, rain continued, wind building - bashed our way across Stokes Bay (there was a huge container ship moored there - looked like a ship carrier - bright orange - subsequent research showed this to be semi-submersible vessel "Treasure", waiting for the jack-up barges Karlissa A and B).

We looked vaguely happy though - in a hysterical kind of way...!

We reached the start line about 15 minutes late I think - suffice to say no other class boats in sight, but hardening up into the wind I attempted to take Ami-Ly into the wind towards the first mark which is the Needles - it was hopeless, she didn't want to go - we had two reefs on the main and a good part of the jib rolled in but she really wasn't having any of it... heeled over at >45' and going nowhere and this was in the relative "calm" of the Solent!

'Nuff said, we (rightly) called in our retirement and headed back to Cowes and the Medina River.. and moored up while we could on the Folly pontoons.

A few beers later, and a slap up lunch and we were feeling better - an hour later and the sun came out and the wind was dropping so we headed back to the Solent for home...

Cowes was rammed with competitors - some had finished, I suspect most had retired at this time..

When we got to the entrance to the river we were met by the view of all the boats who had got round finishing!

All in all about 400+ of the 1900 boats retired so I don't feel too disgraced - channel 16 (the emergency channel) never stopped all day - at least three multi-hulls upside down, crew in the water by the Needles, multiple maydays and pan-pan's...

The sail back was brilliant - sunny, warm and a force 3 or 4 up the tail - perfect!

Couldn't have been more of a contrast if it had tried...

Never mind - it was a good day and we all agreed that we have unfinished business with the round the Island - hopefully we'll finish it later this summer!

1 comment:

  1. Well done for trying, I didn't even leave the harbour as it was terrible weather! Good call on heading home on the Saturday too, Sunday was foggy until mid afternoon.