The Big Launch Day

i have been so quiet.

Nose hard to the grind stone. The Shed was lifted out 3 weeks ago and it has been hard graft all the way. Sanding the bottom, anti fouling and then sanding again, and now she is ready to go. Smooth and beautiful and I am exhausted.

No time to be tired though. I launch at 2pm then start the double handed cherbourg race at 8pm. Not much of a time to breath between.

This will be Phil and my first RACE together and I am looking forward to it. I do not think we will truelly know what each of us to do until we get into a race situation, with pressure and through the night.

We are on a bit of a back foot to start with as I do not have a number 3 jib. This is my biggest upwind sail so pretty important.

Got to run now!

More when we get back, fingers crossed.

LOUD AND CLEAR

Waiting to be lifted out of the water…..

I decided to have a fiddle with the VHF set which was not working and is old. The advice from the experts was buy a new one, i will never find parts and it will take forever to diagnose and fix the problem.

Having nothing to lose is a great motivator for trying to do something. SO, I ran a few logical tests and discovered that with the hand held I could hear buzzing from my main set on transmission but no voice.

I decded the problem could be in the microphone. So i took it apart and hey presto! found a lose wire.

Just a small amount of shakey handed soldering and 15 minutes later Solent Coast guard said they could hear me loud and clear.  I’m feeling very proud and self sufficient, and smiling a lot.

Still Floating

What fantastic sanding weather.

The sun is shining, there is a brisk northerly wind but the Shed is still in the water.   We were supposed to lift her out today so I could start on preparations for the Round Britiand and Ireland race, but we missed the tide and I will have to wait another day to start the hard graft.

Time has been usefully spent though, emptying The Shed of all unnecessary items and getting her back to the race trim she was in for the OSTAR last year.

Where did all that stuff come from? When I came back from America last year, I only had the bare essentials in my life, just the things I needed to fix the boat, feed myself and get by. However in the intervening winter all my things seem to have been breeding.

Two plastic bowls and a metal spoon have turned into china plates, wine glasses, A HAND HELD BLENDER! I have tools galore, a guitar, more clothes than I could wear in a month and 7 different varieties of tea.

It would appear I have been getting soft. Time to put it all into storage and go back to the simple life that is offshore racing.

While preparing the boat, I am also full swing into preparing myself for the endurance race ahead. I always run but am trying to improve pace and times at the moment, boat work is good for strength, and climbing the mast. It suprises me how quickly you can lose condition through a period off the water.

Getting The Shed out of ‘house’ mode and into ‘race’ mode is really evoking feelings of excitment in me. I am looking forward to the challenges ahead this year, and just cannot wait to get back out into that ocean. We have a race to compete in!

Two Handed Round Britain and Ireland

The Shed will race again!

Two Handed Round Britain and Ireland Race 2010

I have teamed up with a fellow short handed sailor, Phil Stubbs, to place an entry in this years, Two Handed Round Britain and Ireland race.

Phil Stubbs, Co-Skipper for Round Britain and Ireland

This is another Classic short handed race around the Outside of the British Isles and Ireland, taking in some of the worlds most challenging waters.

It will be my final race in The Shed and we are gearing up to make it special

This Easter weekend provided perfect conditions for Phil and I to make our qualifying passage for the race. We set off in sunshine and with gusty winds from the NW for a jaunt along the English channel, returning Monday evening after a day in the sun, surfing waves with the small spinnaker up.

Ah…….. it is all coming back. Bring on the summer, we are ready for the challenge.

Of course, racing again means all that preparation, The Shed is scheduled to come out of the water next week for another rub down to make her smooth and lovely under the water. A big thank you to Flag Finishes, have again offered to support my race with the supply of Performance Extra Antifouling for the bottom.

My arms are aching already!

Painting the bottom of The Shed