It’s over, and I have the traditional sore throat to prove it has been a tough week.
I hate to think how many Cowes week’s I have raced in; more than I have fingers that is for sure. This year I was skipper for one of the Sunsail F40 boats and what a week it was. Several days of big breeze, new novice clients every morning and an ultra competitive fleet meant I was working my socks off, all day and exhausted every evening.
We had some great results including an early 1st and a 3rd; my clients Cazenove Capital Management, who are now in their 6th year of sailing in this event with me, all loved the experience and after a couple of hours instruction on the water, were racing the boat like a well oiled crew, including pole less spinnaker manoeuvres and some super slick mark rounding.
I’m not a hundred percent sure they knew these manoeuvres were either difficult or slick, but I certainly lavished praise on them as the spinnaker came down yet again hitch free and dry. All this is done by having an extra eager and attentive crew who do just what they are told, when they are told to do it. It’s just like single handed sailing in a way, you break down the task and then give instructions to each person of how and when to deal with their sail or rope.
This year I was treated to the luxury of a mate onboard, and Phil Stubbs who was my co-skipper for the two handed round Britain and Ireland race, joined me for the week and was ever on hand to avert disaster and generally run around when things went wrong. To be honest as the week went on my mind started to wander a bit from rounding marks in the Solent.
I am leaving for France on Tuesday and the countdown to the transat is now 41 days. I have so much to do and have to admit to becoming a little distracted towards the end of the week. I was sleeping on one of the boats and every morning for the last four nights of Cowes week I woke up at precisely 0630, in a sweat and a panic and hit my head; with job lists reeling round and round in front of my eyes.
Going to France is a cut off point for me and a big mental corner. I have agreed with myself that once I am in La Rochelle the mini is going to be the only thing that matters in my life. It is time to say goodbye to those friends who will not make it to the start; to tie up loose ends in work; to moth ball my faithful big Shed and to look to the 25th September. I’m on my way!