Sunday, 21 August 2011

A Short Diary of A Classic Yacht regatta

Waiting for the wind...

I've been a bit busy racing in the Palma classic yacht regatta. The sailing has been brilliant, the weather - hot. And internet access has been limited. So I have been writing a sort of diary of the regatta, short snippets of the days events. I hope it captures a little picture of the last week aboard Mariquita;

Friday’s race diary;

42 degrees. No I’m not lost or changing the name of my blog, that’s how hot it was in Palma today. Now I’m sure all you guys back home in the UK are cursing me for complaining due to your lack of sunshine so far this summer, but really, 42 degrees? When you’re wearing traditional heavy cotton sailing trousers, hot heavy cotton t-shirts and heavy safety belts with harness, rigging knife and spike attached; let me gently suggest to you that you really do not need 42 degrees heat to add to the discomfort.

Try 42 degrees and no wind too. Not a puff. Sitting on a boat that’s drifting in the bay of Palma waiting for some breeze to start the classic yacht racing; mix that with very little shade and the full force of the sun on you at around the hours of midday - what a giggle.

Then out of the force of around a hundred sailor’s prayers, the wind came. It literally hit us, from oily flat sea and droopy flags to perky waves and full sails driving the momentum we all needed to stir us back into a fighting race crew with full sailing mojo. The sails were hoisted, the race sequence began and thank Neptune we were off.

It can take a few tacks and gybes to adjust from no wind and no action what-so-ever to heeled over, harnessed on, working ropes under a powerful rush of water and shouting to be heard above the general din and clunk of a wooden boat going full pelt under fully powered up sails. But it’s pretty cool.

After waiting so long for the wind it finally came and some of us got pretty wet!

Saturday’s race diary;

Oh yeah! what a day. No delay and a clean start with wind. The race today was a fight. We pulled ahead of Moonbeam 4 on the first beat up to the first mark and there we stayed. We need to fight hard to stay in front of Moonbeam so we did. Some great tactics and a lot of swift hauling up of sails, loads of sail changes and a lot of sweat lost. The temperature was still well up there in the 40’s but the breeze helped to keep our energy levels high enough to stay in the lead.

Strength and honour!!!

What a day and what a great way to finish the regatta here in Palma.

Sunday Morning

There are a few sore heads this morning. Turns out, if you’re really tired from a weeks racing and 40 degrees heat and then win the last race with style and aplomb, it would seem you then have the ability to go out and party till the wee hours. Breakfast was an amusing affair of fried eggs and tales of last night’s adventures; who got up to what, who went to which clubs and who woke up fully dressed etc. I’m sure you’ve been there too.
I, thankfully, made it home at just about a reasonable hour and I am very smugly pouring people glasses of coke with ice and lemon and considering making them pizza. Bless ‘em.

I’m pretty tired though and Mariquita and her slightly weary crew will be leaving Palma tonight at midnight to make our way to Mahon for the next regatta which starts on Wednesday! Yay….

It’s not been easy blogging since we’ve been here what with all the sailing, cooking and lack of internet. So I hope to make it up to you soon. For now, I’ll regale you with regatta stories, short but sweet especially since the beautiful Mariquita, 100 years old this year, has done so well.

Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for recipes and sailing 


Water balloons!