It’s hard to believe that it is already April and that Easter is with us. We would like to wish you all a very happy Easter, hope you have a good weekend and get the opportunity to spend some time with friends and family.
This week we joined in with a sailing rally which was arranged to raise money for a local family who have recently lost their mother to cancer.
10 boats participated, as with many of the boats in the marina, ZigZag is not yet ready for a day out (her sails have been removed and stored away and Paul is working on the engine replacing some parts).
Anyone who wanted to be involved in the event was welcome to go along as crew on one of the participating boats so we joined Traveller IV for the day, there were 8 of us onboard.
It was a lovely sunny day, originally the course was set to be a triangle of 30 nm, however as there was only light winds, the course was reduced to approximately 20 nm, out to a waypoint near an oil platform and back. We were given a set of rules, left the dock and headed out of the marina.
We were allowed to raise the sails 15 minutes before the 10am start, just outside of the marina there was some swell so we were all rolling around waiting to go.
After the signal horns indicated the start of the rally we were off, avoiding a couple of fishing pots put us slightly behind the leaders.
Once we were on our way we relaxed with bagels, freshly made by our Canadian hosts. There was plenty of food prepared and a well stocked fridge of prosecco, wine and beer that we enjoyed throughout the day.
All boats perform differently and the outward leg was into the wind, we only had 5-6 kts of wind and were doing 3 kts but were unable to sail as close to the wind as some other boats so we were slightly off course and had to tack a couple of times. This did put us further behind and the staysail was unfurled giving us a little more speed, but our captain assured us that we would catch up (and overtake) on the return downwind journey.
The rally was not a serious race but an opportunity to finally get boats out after being tied to the dock all winter. However everyone got quite competitive and there was some amusing banter between the boats over the VHF radio, penalties were being given and payment for any indiscretion was expected in beer. Water cannons were encouraged and it was perfectly acceptable to shop other boats to the adjudicator for keel hauling after the event!
As we approached the waypoint at the oil platform, the enormous gennaker was rigged up and ready to fly as soon as we turned.
Once the big blue sail was up, the main sail was furled and the genoa was poled out, we were speeding along wing on wing.
We all got excited when we saw dolphins, one gave us a show when he came alongside and jumped high up out of the water, unfortunately I didn’t get a picture!
By about 4 pm, as predicted we were closing in on the leading boat, but as there was a bbq arranged on the dock to end the day, everyone was keen to get back. The race was called, engines went on for the last few miles into the marina and we were denied our inevitable victory?
Once we were all back and tied up, the bbq’s were lit and we celebrated the end of a fun day which raised approximately 800€ for the local family, further events have already been arranged to increase this.