Puma Logic takes first place in Round the Island Race!!
All the Sailing Logic teams gathered in the Waterfront for breakfast and briefing on Friday morning before heading straight out on to the water for a training day. After a few practise tacks and gybes and hoists and drops the teams headed into Cowes in the early afternoon... with such an early start (5.30am race start for most of us!!) the skippers were concious not to wear their crews out!!!
The Royal Corinthian Yacht Club provided us all with a splendid barbeque on Friday evening, which gave the teams a chance to get fantastically well fed before the race!! Fortunately everyone was sensible enough to limit the beer intake.
4.00am on Saturday morning certainly felt like a ridiculous time to get up to start a race but dawn wasn't far away and it was an amazing sight to see 1750 yachts of all different shapes and sizes milling about the start area as the sun rose!! And you can imagine who began to get very excited!
The big boats started first, folllowed by some very little boats, and the majority of our yachts started at 0530 as part of fleet 4. With some 170 boats on the start line, around 10knots of westerly breeze and a strong west going tide, it was all about finding a clear lane, getting the timing right and not hitting anyone!!
Next was a beat up the Western Solent, trying to stay in the strongest tide and pick the right wind shifts to tack on aswell as not having to duck too many yachts whilst on port tack made for an interesting sail as the yachts picked their way through the little Gaffers and Etchells. Turning the corner at the Needles, there was a flurry of activity as kites were hoisted for the downwind run to St Catherine's Point; looking back though, was a spectacular sight of multicoloured spinnakers pushing hard to make up ground, as the wind built to 18knots. The kite run continued all the way to Bembridge, marking the Eastern corner of the island, where spinnakers were dropped and the yachts came up hard on the wind for the final beat back up the Eastern Solent to the finish line by Cowes. This also required negotiating our way round Ryde Sands and some boats definitely ventured further inshore than others... indeed, more than one or two could definitely be seen aground!!
It was a fantastic race for all our teams but particularly Puma Logic who battled it out with some very competitive boats all the way round. They finished just after 1pm, believing they might just be in the top five of their division, IRC class 1b, so it was a bit of a surprise, but a brilliant one, to discover they had actually won their division!!
Needless to say, Saturday afternoon and evening was spent celebrating... in fact, unsurprisingly, I can't really describe much more about the rest of Saturday as I can't remember anything other than champagne disappearing at a super fast rate!!
The Sailing Logic teams headed gently back to Shamrock Quay on Sunday, whilst those on board Puma made their way to the Island Sailing Club for the prize giving. It was a great occasion and the whole team felt really proud of such a superb achievement. Philippe's highlight though, was definitely getting to receive our prize and a kiss from Shirley Robertson!!!
Congratulations to all those who took part and some great results... I know I can't wait to do it all again next year!!