It was almost exactly a year ago and I suppose I should have posted something before now, but you know how it goes, places to go people to see. Anyway we entered the Regatta last year and came in (in my humble opinion) a respectable middle of the table. I think the ORC (Offshore Racing Congress) were not kind to me with the handicap, but I hear that everyone says that! The problem was the ginnaker – too big, and the jib was a bit small for the light winds that we enjoyed during the three days of racing. Look I know I am making excuses but I don’t blame me!
First the crew (from the left standing):
Henry Castledine, Race Skipper – sailing since a young whippersnapper in the Channel Islands. I hard task master but a great sailor. He taught me to sail so he must have something about him.
Ann and Alistair Cameron, Crew – Alistair was part of the intrepid maiden voyage from Slovenia described elsewhere in this blog. Alistair did a lot of standing around and technical stuff, Anne perfected the art of stowing the gennaker, which at 160 sq meters was no laughing matter I can tell you. Although their work was as nothing compared to the foredeckers – me with the hat on and next to me Jon Over my brother-in-law.
Jon and Me, Foredeckers – Duties included setting up and then striking the gennaker, gybing the gennaker, cursing the gennaker ….., hauling out the jib, retracting the jib and lying on our backs exhausted. Foredeckers ( I am told) are immediately recognisable amongst the crew as they are generally carrying an excess amount of muscle, their arms are normally dragging on the ground, they grunt a lot as opposed to actually articulating words, and they have very large foreheads. They are usually very fit and strong, which is I suppose why Jon and I, the two oldest members of the crew, got lumbered with the job! All attempts at protest fell on the skippers deaf ears.
Kneeling are Ruth (introduced in other parts of this blog) and Paul Casterton a mate from our days in Doha. Paul’s wife Hanna was also with us but we did not have enough space for an additional crew member. In effect Ruth and Paul substituted for each other as Ruth had to leave the boat on the Sunday before the final race. Amongst many arduous tasks they had to gather in the gennaker and also operate the main and gennaker sheets.
From a catering point of view everybody piled into our place in Parekklisia and Joan (my wife) and Isabel Over (her sister) handled the catering side. We also had a few evenings at the bar and dined out at the culinary hotspots of Limassol. A great crowd of folks and we all had a good old time.
The Famagusta Sailing Club organise the race. They were originally located at Famagusta ( the clue is in the name!) but they had to decamp (temporarily according to their web site ) to Limassol after the war of 1974. 2016 was the first year for them to hold an ORC accredited regatta, although they had been organising races for years in the past. The races took place over three days – Friday (practice), Saturday and Sunday. We all gathered on the Monday before the race to get in a bit of training and for Henry to whip us into shape. It took some whipping! As I said earlier we came in a credible mid-table position and I was proud of that. Lothian Sky did not let us down and next year with a more experienced crew, who knows?, we may just surprise ourselves.
I can’t really go into the details of the race as Jon and I did not see very much of it, up to our ears in gennaker, grappling with the sail bag etc, but we did get some good photographs and I have added a few below to give you a flavour – and also a short video.
So that was last year. The 2017 regatta starts on 8th September.
Come back later to find out how we get on.