Thursday, 31 October 2013

Completed Challenge 15# - Aye Aye Captain!

This one was brilliant fun. We were originally supposed to go on the 12th October but the weather was absolutely atrocious. I woke the morning of the 26th and it didn't look much better. However as we got there the sun started to poke it's head out and although there was the odd shower there was a good wind and it was beautiful.

About 16 years ago I had been sailing on the big boat so I tried desperately to remember the terms. When we began I was still pondering which was starboard or port so I decided just to start afresh. Thankfully Rod was a fantastic teacher and very patient with me. Suddenly it was "ready about", "leo", "boom", "jib" and port and starboard were the least of my worries. It was very physical and Rod sometimes had to yank my rope after me as I just wasn't strong enough. The biggest thing to get used was having to hang outside the boat to keep it level. It just didn't feel natural and I was first convinced that I would just topple out.

Rod assured me we wouldn't capsize but then told my sister that was providing the ropes didn't snap which they sometimes did! I was all for just having ago and not worrying too much about race placement. But sailing is a competitive sport and so I soon learned you absolutely aim to win. Ours were pursuit races where everyone has a set start time based on the handicap on the boat. We were one of the last to start so it was exhilarating playing catchup constantly.

My family came to watch and after a nail biting 68 minutes we came second! It was so unexpected to me I was thrilled. The wind had changed for the 2nd race and despite our best efforts we couldn't improve on it and came third. However for a rookie I think bronze and silver is pretty impressive. I want to thank Rod and everyone at Ogston Sailing Club for making me feel so welcome. It was very different from the big boat (distinct lack of gin and tonics and a hell of a lot more bruises) but what an amazing experience.

There's also a short video here of us pipping to second! Remember if you want to support this or any other challenge please donate at

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