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Bill’s Blog from Antigua Week 2015

Blain’s Blog – Antigua Sailing Week
Report from Day 2 – Johnnie Walker Race Day – Monday 27th April

What’s the longest period in yacht racing? Perhaps the three seconds on corrected time that separated us from the winning boat on Day Two of Antigua Race Week! We’d done everything right – well nearly – and sailed fast. On the first race on Monday we got line honours – first boat across the finish line – but second on corrected time (worked out according to the handicap system) by a miserable painful 3 seconds! 

But we won’t let that worry us. At the end of Day 2 of Antigua Race Week, our Team Southern Boat 1, EHO1, is in third place in our class, but only by a single point. We made a whole series of mistakes on the second race but everything we do wrong is a learning experience. They do say the boats that win are those that make the least mistakes – so that is what we will be going for tomorrow.

The formula is easy: Sail fast, in the right direction, without making mistakes.. simples!

The reality is spinnaker wraps, sheets tied in the wrong place, people out of position and lots of shouting. We don’t like shouty…but it happens. Tomorrow we will try again and get it right. Thankfully we do have some excellent crew bringing sanity to what we’re doing. And what a mix of people we have on the boat – take a look at our Pit – the place where all the lines (or ropes to landlubbers) run, which is jointly run by club member Sacha Lines, a former Olympian who now works for the RYA and one of our Batfish girls, Maeve Hurley, who spends her spare time when not sailing as CFO of a major software company!

We also have our secret weapon, the Silver Ferret – past commodore Colin Hall… What Colin doesn’t know about yacht racing… Looking around the the rest of the crew, we’ve got airline pilots, businessmen, businesswomen, neuro-surgeons, doctors, media-moguls, accountants, sports executives, bond traders, and in spite of egos, it pretty much works!

Despite the wind coming from a very unusual southerly direction, the race committee has done a superb job organising courses. This is proper champagne sailing – the sun, the breeze and warmth! The regatta organisers have given us marvellous racing so far – we’ve been set very interesting and challenging courses. The after-race organisation is also excellent – very swift results and some great bar work.

Meanwhile, we’re looking forward to hearing how we are doing in the Royal Southern Challenge Cup against all the other yacht clubs participating in Race Week. We’re looking forward to meeting them all during the week and understand there will be a reception on the lawn of the Antigua Yacht Club on Tuesday night (TONIGHT!) when Commodore Chris Mansfield will no doubt be demonstrating just how deep his pockets are!

Today’s photos are courtesy of Graham Nixon.
RSrnYC support team and crew at a pre-event BBQ in Antigua (sigh) and the happy crew of EHO1 doing their thing on the rail.

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