never ever did I think a deadline could actually come close to kill me but it happened. Two weeks of very little sleep, a lot of stress and even more worrying but in the end, well about 5 minutes before the end, 200 pages, printed and bound were submitted.

Over the past 4 years in Southampton I’ve grown accustomed to tight deadlines and hard work but adding dependency on 5 others gave it all a completely different dimension and not one I look forward to repeating. But with all that behind, there were a couple of days where the university was closed, the weather great and sailing happening on the Solent in extraordinary conditions.

I received an invite to trim on a Grand Soleil 43 (of the same vintage as Roark, which back in 2008 was the best boat of the Commodores’ Cup and I had the pleasure of racing on board), not completely the same but interesting none the less. After trying to fix the rig when the Easter challenge had started (but the boat was not racing), I was trimming their mainsail for the 4 races we participated in on Saturday and Sunday. I must admit it took a bit of getting used to (especially as I was originally scheduled to do upwind trim) but by race three I was comfortable with the set-up, had a feel for the numbers (in the 4-8 knots wind range) and as a crew we started to focus on the racing. I feel it was a bit unfortunate the boat was missing a number of their regulars but we improved each race and the weather was outstanding.

Today, the university has re-opened and that means that after a couple days off it is back to work: finishing a revised sail plan and engineering a rig and the rigging to hold it up. Another bank holiday weekend coming up before lectures start again. The weekend itself looks very promising at the moment, back in the Etchells (different boat this time), racing in the competitive Cowes fleet. Should be great fun again and fingers crossed we’ll be able to get a nice result.

Life’s good,