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
We went in very close to the Shingles bank before gybing towards Hurst Castle point. Our decision to take this route had already paid off as we were punching through the huge tide making five knots over the ground whereas the boats on the Island side were only making three. The only other boat to follow us was Don Woods on board his 12 metre Italia with Chris Law at the wheel. With a kite up Don had also put up a sneaky staysail , possibly the first time this combination has been used on a 12 metre. She looked fantastic and eventually overtook us at Beaulieu.

It was going to be a long way home against so much tide but it was time cherished taking in the views. We watched Velsheda go for a gybe and put their pole through the foot of their enormous spinaker. At this time we could feel Gandalf lightly touching the mud as we sailed along the mainland shore between Lymington and Beaulieu. The fastest time around the island was the all-black Stealth in just over five hours. Gandalf won in her class taking 8 hours 18 minutes. The Solent was virtually empty by 19.30 with the exception of some men in whites who had gone to the Brambles Bank for the unusual once a year cricket match when the spring tide is so low that the bank becomes emerged.

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