After the past couple of weeks doing a lot (but very little study work) it was time to get back into the lecture theatre today. Luckily an easy start as there are no labs scheduled for today… As the last week was very, very enjoyable a good thing life wasn’t too harsh. So what has the week been like…

Well after racing got cancelled last week I spend time doing coursework in preparation of the last 7 weeks before summer holiday. With that out of the way(-ish) by Tuesday I very happily took up the offer to look, learn and help out at Corby Boat Works on the IoW. At the moment refitting the Corby38 ‘Gloves Off‘ is the big project but there is plenty of other projects going on in Cowes. The two days I spent were filled with prepping paintwork for final spray, some small boat prep and fairing and filling Gloves. There was no laying up going on so my hands stayed well clean of epoxy or any other resins, however it was really interesting and helpfull to be shown what some ordinary days are all about for boat-builders. And with Pete being a great host the days in cowes had a good finish on Saturday.

Saturday was the Nab Tower Race, a race run by JOG and Sanguma’s yearly offshore as it is around 35 nm and leaving the security of the Solent. With weather prediction and reality not being on the same page conditions were interesting to say the least. Whilst a dry day with the breeze maxing out at around 15 knots was forecasted, showers and squalls came through regularly. The start was downwind and gave Sanguma the opportunity to sail to her rating. The breeze was about twenty knots but very twisty. Although not rated as the fastest Sanguma could hang on to the leaders up to the forts at the end of the Solent. The jib-reach up to the tower showed the advantage of having waterline length and meant several big boats (up to 15 feet longer) could make up for lost ground. Rounding the tower and jib reaching back to the forts the first of the heavy squalls came through. Icy rain, hail and gusts of up to 40 knots meant hard work for Chris and John at the back of the boat and many boats around us opting for reefing or even fully lowering the sails. It also showed the first damage occurring to some of the racers throughout the fleet. The beat back to Cowes from the forts had several squalls still destined for us making hard work of the getting home part of the race. However both boat and crew managed to hang in there and the result was a victory in our class (as well as overall!). With the crew (Chris, John, Fred, Laura, Pete and Adam) having a lot going meant I was on for sailing the X41 on Sunday.

However before that Fred and Laura invited me for dinner, maybe a drink and a place to crash in preparation of showing up on Sunday morning at Hamble Point). After the pest SpagBolo in years and some excercise on the (brand new) Wii we headed off to Boomerang’s. A funny place that is at night, with a bunch of great fun (semi-)locals (sailors) enjoying a night out. After a great evening and night it was an early morning but the lucky streak hadn’t run out yet and a lift from Hamble to the marina meant all went very smoothly.

Racing itself was odd, squalls like on Saturday were around but not of the same severity. Two short races for class IRC1 resulted in a kind of W-L racing. The wind varying around the cross-over point for two headsails meant plenty of changes (on the downwind leg). A bunch of new guys as part of the crew resulted in not the smoothest of crew work but never resulted in faults. The result was pretty uneventful racing from my perspective, not necessarily a bad thing.

Anyhow, it’s dry now outside so time to do some shopping. All’s well over here, life’s good.