Pete's sailing pages

Yacht racing

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Yacht racing? In my case, nothing like as grand as it sounds, just the occasional race on Weather Bird or regattas on either a chartered cruiser  or someone else's boat. In contrast to racing small dinghies, things get much more stressful with a yacht where errors of judgement can cost serious money and teamwork is paramount. My meagre experience can be categorised as follows:

Marmaris International Race Week

For 15 years, competing in Marmaris Race Week at the end of October was the highlight of my sailing year. It all started out when I was invited to crew on a splendid classic yacht, 'Baltic Bris', which was berthed in this Turkish marina. Subsequently, 'Baltic Bris' returned to the UK and so a crew from Medley Sailng Club was recruited to compete in the same regatta in a cruising yacht chartered from Sunsail. The whole experience was later enhanced when Sunsail created a one-design "race within a race", providing identical boats which could race against each other without the unsatisfactory complication of a handicap system. There followed several great years racing against an array of mates, work colleagues and friends who pitched up each year. Some photo's will be found in the album below.

Regates Royales, Cannes 2004

As a rare treat, I got the opportunity to crew on a quite beautifully restored 8 Metre racing yacht in this classic regatta in Cannes. The yacht was called 'Froya', owned, skippered and helmed by Peter Grohl. The photo's say it all!

Round the Island Race

The biggest yacht race in the world, the Round the Island Race, sees in excess of 1500 boats racing around the isle of Wight in June each year. Attracting international sailors in extraordinary state-of-the-art wonder boats together with week-end family cruising sailors, the event makes for a wonderful spectacle. For us leisure sailors, there is a real challenge, not only in getting round in a decent time, but also staying out of trouble in the melee of boats all jostling for position. On a gentle sunny day its a joy, when its windy it becomes a severe test of nerve as hundreds of boats set off in close proximity. But as an experience, every sailor should take part at least once. I've done it half a dozen times, recently on Weather Bird, but previously crewing for a mate - much easier on the nerves!

Yacht racing photo album