9th October 2018
After breakfast at the Harbour Hotel we were briefed by Chris Rees of Rees Leisure who managed to organise ten teams to compete in a force 8 gale on Southampton Water. initially there were only five of us representing the SPA team, but our number increased with the help of the film crew from Sky Property, so we ended up with a truly mixed gender group lead by a competitive skipper. Nicole the young skipper’s mate worked harder than anyone in managing the rigging as well as instructions to the team.
Fortunately, we were provided with waterproof clothing to keep us dry and warm as the sea was extremely choppy. During the racing the boat was vertically out of the water to compete with Bellway Homes and the other leaders. One of the most important tasks in sailing is to frequently change direction called ‘tacking’ to make best use of the wind which also includes constantly scrambling from port to starboard and back again. Not as easy as you would think with ten people on board as it also means scrambling across the hatch which does require some dexterity. We still managed to have a light lunch on board between the races.
Thanks mainly to our Skipper and his mate we achieved third place in the first race and fourth in the second. We seemed to finish earlier than I expected probably because of the weather and the lack of experience in the many taking part. After mooring the boats, we then jumped into a taxi to the Boat Show where we enjoyed refreshments sponsored by TheYachtMarket.com. The boat show was as good as ever and I enjoyed a few pints of Guinness whilst listening to live music.
Apart from being an exhilarating day out, it is a great opportunity to entertain your best clients and support worthy charities such as Sail for Cancer and Wet Wheels who were the official referees on race day.
Graham Clarke FNAEA
Business Consultant, Clarke Mews