“As is the way with sailing, nothing is ever that predictable.”
What a great trip with the Tall Ships Youth Trust at the weekend!
We met the Skipper Adam and 1st Mate James at Cowes Marina who quickly made us feel welcome as they showed us around the ‘Tenacity of Bolton’ – a boat that was made as a college project by some students in Bolton out of concrete! – hence the name.
Once we had been shown around and assigned life jackets it was time to set sail and get some practice in before Saturday’s Small Ships race. The students were split into 2 groups – Starboard and Port Crews and assigned roles as we hoisted sails before learning how to tack and gybe. Starboard Crew then prepared lunch on board while we sailed around the Solent training before Port Crew washed up.
The evening came and the Skipper and 1st Mate left for the race briefing to find out the course for the next day, while it was Port Crew’s time to prepare dinner – a nice beef curry. Once Adam and James returned, the course was plotted on the charts and everyone was shown where we were going to be racing the next day!
Race day came and the whole boat was a mixture of anticipation and trepidation about the day ahead! We were dressed in our ASTO t-shirts while we prepared the boat and paraded past the Royal Yacht Squadron before heading out to sea ready for the start of the race.
We were in class C3 which started at 10:00. As it is the way with sailing, nothing is ever that predictable, so just as we were hoisting our final sail before the start we had a line tangle, causing us to not be in the ideal location as the canon went off.
The first leg was heading East towards Ryde. We were making good ground after our mishap at the start and could see our rival crews in our sights – we were gaining ground!
We rounded the 1st marker having overtaken one of the other boats. The next leg was into the wind and tide towards Southampton and required lots of tacking and course adjusting from James and Adam – our tacks were now going smoothly as the whole crew worked together to pull the lines and winch the sails in.
The 3rd leg crossed back across the Solent passing Cowes and heading towards Thorness Bay. The conditions were now perfect and are described as ‘Champagne Sailing’. Upon passing Thorness it was the final run to Cowes and the finish line. Unsure of where we came – we had to wait for the final results at the awards ceremony.
The ceremony came around and the whole crew were sat on the edge of their seats waiting for the result. Our category came… 3rd place was read out… it wasn’t us… 2nd place… TENACITY OF BOLTON!! We came 2nd!!! A job very well done for a crew who had never sailed before that weekend!
A big thank you go out to both Adam and James for a brilliant weekend. The whole crew thoroughly enjoyed it and are discussing future opportunities to sail!
- 2nd out of 3 in class
- 7th out of 17 overall once the boat handicap had been adjusted for.
Tim Corbett – HTP Active Courses Tutor