Cowes week 2016
Its great to be back in home waters after the Solitaire du Figaro. This time , however, it was fully crewed, sailing with sponsors and guests as well as a little sail with the Redshift team on their JPK10.80.
If you were to imagine the perfect sailing conditions they would be wall to wall sunshine and 10-20knts of wind. it just so happened that this is exactly what we had all week. these ideal conditions really allowed myself and the guests to get the most out of Cowes week.
with one race a day around the cans in the Solent each day sailing with a new team this allowed me to share the experience in the Figaro with a vast amount of people who all seemed to love the racing, the conditions and seeing what the Figaro is all about.
The first guests of the week was Anthony and Kathy from Kilchoman, having come down from their Island in Scotland to spend the day racing. It was great to finally meet them having been in contact through out the year. it was also fantastic to hear some of the story's from when Anthony Wills competed in the Whitbread round the world race. we sailed really well leading the fleet from the start, after managing a tricky down wind start with the kite.
Secondly was Carl Gibson with Chris Mullen and Tim Barwick. Getting off to another cracking start (this seemed to be a theme for the week) we had slightly lighter winds but still incredibly close racing with the other 7 Figaro's on the course.
On the third day , Tim knight with the crew of Leslie Ross,Tim Felmingham and Graeme Love decided to put my through my paces before the start of the race. it was an absolute pleasure to have guests so interested in the single handed sailing and also for me to be able to share and pass on tips and processes that I have learnt through experience. with their first reaction after seeing me tack and gybe single handed been that it looked like an easy thing to do, they then proceeded to take it in turns to take on the tacks single handed. needless to say it wasn't as easy as they had initially thought. but with a little practice the manoeuvres improved. we then decided it would be best to stick to fully crewed mode for the race.
My final Figaro guests for the week were the Roberts family. It was really cool to have the whole family together for the first time in well over a year. plenty of story's to be caught up on and more importantly some serious sailing to be done. With my parents having just returned from Greenland trekking the arctic circle and sailing around the western coast they were on great form and in adventurer mode (note dads the beard).
the final sail of the week however was on the mighty redshift team, with Nick cheery having to leave a day early I took over his role at the back of the boat. All was to play for with a 3rd place fully in reach and three boats battling for the position. a great start on the favoured side of the line put us in a strong position to control the other boats on the long beat west. from where me managed to control and defend them for
the rest of the race doing more than enough to secure 3rd over all.
All in all a fantastic week as always. looking forward to being back next year in my Figaro.