I am excited to announce my entry into the next mini race later in August. The 500 mile Grand Huit; a single handed course starting from La Grand Motte in the South of France and racing around Menorca and back in a figure of eight course.
This race is the largest single handed race in the Mediterranean with a current field of 27 entries.
However the news from me is that I will be competing as the skipper of the new series boat on the block the RG650.
I first went to sail the RG in February this year, having seen the boat first when Bret Perry, Director of Katabatic Sailing brought it to the start of the transat in 2011. Even with little breeze on a sunny day in Valencia it was obvious the boat had speed and since then I have been trying to get out for a race to see what it could actually do.
It is going to be odd racing a boat that is not the Pogo 2; I am so used to the way that boat handles, I understand intuitively how to make it go faster and what the boat needs to keep it in balance. In effect I have tamed it.
I imagine that racing in the RG will be akin to jumping for the first time onto a wild stallion. We know it is a fast boat, it has raw power and it wants to go but I will have to work hard to understand how to make the most out of the boat; to think on my feet and try to learn its handling characteristics. No doubt at some point I will get thrown off. (That is a metaphor by the way – I have no intention of ending up in the sea….. ever!)
The course for the Grand Huit is technically demanding; the Mediterranean at this time of year can throw up many different weather conditions and local effects. It will be an ideal opportunity to really get the boat going and see what it is capable of.
I am excited. Many thanks to Bret and Nicolas for allowing me to skipper the boat in this race; its game on!