I spent the whole weekend sailing. I needed to; this was my last chance to push the boat before she gets lifted out and gets the final preparations.
The next time my boat gets wet it is show time!
I was not alone this weekend, I was accompanied by Poppy, a young sailor who came along to experience sailing mini style. We definitely had that experience, and I can confirm when she is helming the boat at 14 knots under spinnaker she has the mini grin of a natural! I will post some photos and videos when I have a bit more time.
The weekend gave us a bit of everything, the most important thing for me was to push the boat as hard as I could and try out some of the new ropes that English Braids had supplied me last week.
I don’t know if anyone else noticed but it was weird weekend weather wise, lots of clouds, wind ranging from dead calm to gusts of 30 knots and the visibility was spectacular.
When we left from Poole, St Catherine’s point as clear as if it was a couple of miles away, we started with the code zero and then popped the small kite in increasing breeze and St Cat’s got closer very rapidly.
As we rounded the back of theIslandwe met a race coming the other way and in the lumpy seas caused by wind over tide conditions we rocketed past them, top speed of 15.9 knots interspersed with the odd wipe out.
The pace round the back of the island soon slowed down as we entered the Solent on a falling breeze and foul tide, until having spent half an hour trying to creep past the entrance to Cowes we gave up and dodged a rain shower hanging off a buoy eating lentils and drinking tea.
Over night we went backwards and forwards on the tide for hours, the incredible visibility allowed us to see the lights from the Bestival festival on theIsle of Wightand another festival in the new forest, at times when there really was no wind you could even hear the music.
After a night of squalls, rain, calms and every sail coming out of it’s bag we arrived in Poole on Sunday morning and proceeded to take the boat apart ready to come out of the water.
My instruments are off and ready to go to Raymarine for a service, the boat is being lifted out of the water today, the mast will come down and now it is not about sailing but back to all of those lists and things I have to remember.
The job that has been made very easy though is sorting out my travel arrangements thanks to the wonderful support by Brittany Ferries who are sponsoring my ferry travel to the race start. I am really delighted that a company I have used often over the last few years while campaigning my boat, with a ferry I sail past most days inPooleharbour are supporting me in the Mini Transat. Thank you, Brittany Ferries and does that mean you are happy for me to beat some French?