A magic round the island

Sian Cowen reports from on board the Swan 55 Gandalf Wight Sourcerer

Tuesday August 21st 2001, Author: Sian Cowen, Location: United Kingdom
It was with great anticipation that the crew of the Swan 55 Yawl Gandalf Wight Sourcerer set out to sail in the America's Cup Jubilee's UBS Round the Isle Race. It was going to be a historic race and conditions were perfect: a fresh sunny day with approximately 12 knots of wind.

Our start was at 1010 and we set off on a beat eastwards down the Solent towards the first mark of the course -

We started with a beat past No Man's Land fort and on to the first mark, a light vessel moored especially for the race in the position of the old Nab light vessel. Apart from the sight of some more magnificent yachts we were amazed by the amount of spectators that had ventured out in all kinds of craft from Lasers to super launches, all there just to get a glimpse of all the boats taking part on this historic day.

Around 10 minutes after passing the first mark Gianni Agnelli's huge maxi Stealth with her crew, sails and topsides all in black crept up inside us. She was so fast I barely had time to take photos.

We were now on a reach past Bembridge and Shanklin heading to the half way position, St Catherines Point. We had six sails up and good speed hugging the Island shore. But it wasn't long before we were being picked off by some very impressive faster vessels, which had started after us.

Continued on page two.....

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