Queensmead YC - Round the Island Race 2009
RIR 2009 - Part 3 - The Wind of Change 
Sunday, May 17, 2009, 08:04 PM
Posted by Administrator
Well this is it, the last of the three training weekends is here, and again the infamous Queensmead yacht crew are back in action. The Friday started off very low key with the usual hand over and provisioning. The crew’s arrival was split, and the three of us decided to have a quite night of onboard dinning, by tucking into a nutritious three course meal of baked Camembert with Mediterranean toast, sliced gammon with rocket, spinach and water cress tossed salad, followed by apple flapjack and piping hot custard. We made the boat all ship shape and retreated to our bunks for a quite night. <BR>

The morning started with a knock on the hull as the rest of the crew made their presence known. The weather was very windy but we were all in high sprits as we headed off to breakfast. While our eggs were poaching we had the briefing for the days activities. Now with the crew properly fueled, we slipped the lines and Steve (the spare member in red) at the helm we quickly headed off towards the open sea.
It didn’t take long for the crew to get into its stride as we had the sails up, reefed mind you. We thumped our way down the Solent practicing our drills for the rest of the morning till our stop at Osborne Bay, where we superbly anchored close to shore so we could have a well deserved lunch. After a short stop we up anchored and headed to our overnight port, but on the way Jimbo helmed and he quickly found his racing spirit as every yacht was fair game. The evening came and the sky had brightened so the crew begged to stay out a little longer so we could get some
extra practice in, so I headed of to the Needles where we spent sometime playing with the surf. By now the crew was thoroughly exhausted so off to our berths for a refreshing shower and meal. The evening was short due to the planned early start but the crew still managed to completely enjoy themselves. Back onboard the excitement of the forth coming event was now beginning to show as they compared each others ideas and showed off their equipment – it was too good to be true.

With the sound of alarm clocks going off it was every man up, quickly off to the facilities block, ready for our test run around the southern side of the Island. On my return Steve had cooked up some bacon sambo’s which we ate hastily as we left
the berth. We caught the last of the west going tide so as we passed the Needles it changed - perfect, that unfortunately was not all that changed at that point. A chain reaction seemed to start with Jimbo falling first, as you can see if you look right.
Then as the day progressed many other members of the crew were taken down by what I can only guess was a touch of food poisoning – it must have been that locally caught fish of the day they ate last night. The wind strengthened to about 40+ knots
and with some big gusts and heavy seas hitting us. The remaining crew coped very well with the short fall and achieved some 11 knots off the Bembridge Ledge. We rounded the back end of the Island in good time so we have great hopes for the race if the conditions are on par. In we headed and picked up our berth with complete precision, kettle on and some medicine for the crew who had not quite recovered. We had to give her a good scrub before handing her back and then made our farewells – The Race is next.

GH

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