Slightly lighter winds today – 16–18, and blue blue sky, and warm water. Boats headed out to the racecourse – a single start today with the bigger boats and medium boats (there are no small Swan’s) mixing it up. We had a good start, winning the committee boat, and although rolled by two late starting bigger boats, soon got a lane and headed to the upwind mark in clear air. Watching 90’ Swans set the spinnaker at the mark was quite something. Our set was good as we changed from #2 jib to S4 spin (old faithful) and we charged down to a turning mark a few miles away. Next up was the jib top, and we soon had the spin put away and gybed between the Dog Islands (who knows why – no dogs on them; for that matter no Seals on nearby Seal Dogs; and we’re saying nothing about the virgins…). Next up was a 16 minute period in which to get the spin up; gybe; set the jib; and take down the spin, tidy up etc. Very busy but with great crew work, and Joe helpfully providing a torrent of abuse, we got it done in style. A long beat, reach and beat tother finish – no more sail changes so the front of the boat got to watch the large boats charge past, and take in the glorious scenery.
Crossed the line – bottle of champagne appeared and we toasted the skipper and the end to a great regatta. Ended up 6th, which said more about the handicap system in big breeze than crew work, tactics, preparation, etc. We reported back that we’d won the Swan 44 class – didn’t qualify for a winning Rolex.
Next up was the usual approach to putting the boat away – hundreds of jobs to do – Joe multitasking away and withholding beer until we’d finished our chores. Put a replacement propellor on; retrieved our anchor; docked back at Leverick bay; fixed the water pump; replaced a clutch; packed the sails; put the cruising stuff back on; cleaned the boat; and than had a cold one.
Crew dinner tonight where tales will be told, Joe will be merciless in his scathing review of the crews deficiencies, and our sore bodies will slowly start to recover.
Up at 4am to get the ferry to the plane (urgh).
And another one bites the dust…