Friday, 15 June 2012

The Westward Cup

We've almost come to the end of the Westward Cup here in Cowes and I haven't told you a dicky bird about it. How on earth did I do this last year? -  I ask myself. I managed to get through 8 regattas and blog about all of them. I'm getting old. That must be it, for we've raced 3 days in a row and I'm shot. Mind you yesterday was blowing gusts of 21-22 knots and we raced for over three hours in the rain and windy-cold with a reef in the main, no tops'l and no jib top. Also we were short tacking out of the tide and up the coast (pulling us out in front of the big schooners) and when your heaving in your sheets and jiggers by hand, let me tell you, it's bloody exhausting. By our last tack yesterday I had a serious lack of power in my arms.

We had a 'man overboard' just to top off the stress levels, although thankfully Marta was clipped on to the boat with her harness. Although that did mean that she was dragged along underwater for a short but horrible few seconds before she was dragged back aboard to safety. Situations like that make us all realise the potential risks involved when racing in such conditions. But also the adrenaline rush, when your down on the leward rail, clipped on and heaving on lines is admittedly pretty cool too.

Then there are guests to look after and sandwiches to make every morning and dinners to cook and 'do's' to attend.

Well, then it's no wonder, but still I do apologise for not updating you.  Also I have neglected to share my custard and crumble Birthday/Jubilee cake recipe and I promise I will soon. Just as soon as I have brain cells enough to do it properly. I might have to sleep for 24 hours for that situation to occur.

And how about the red, blue and white muffins I made? OK, I promise, soon come.

For now I am on standby. The wind had built to a crescendo and was too much for us today so Mariette and Eleanora, the competition, raced by themselves without us. It's not that we're wimps I assure you. But they are big, strong schooners with power winches, high bulwarks and multiple masts where we have our one fragile mast and top mast that really shouldn't go out and play in any more breeze then we had yesterday. She managed to make it to 101 years old on the high seas. No point in breaking her now. Or the crew for that matter.

Eleanora (right) and Mariette (left) going over the start line in front of the Royal Yacht Squadron

The last race is tomorrow followed by the prize giving at the Royal Yacht Squadron (darlings), how posh. Best find something smart to wear.

Loving Cowes by the way! Shame about the continual rain, it's hindering my shopping.

Thanks for reading! I'll be back soon with those recipes, promise...


About to fire the start gun at the RYS