5 Elites made the trip to Cowes in June – SERIOUS MOONLIGHT, ALL THE GEAR, BLIND SQUIRREL, THE OUTLAW and EXCALIBUR – for the Grand Prix Elite Nationals event hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron, with 43 entries in total.
We were greeted on the eve of the racing within the actual walls of the RYS with all the lovely old RYS formalities and introduced to our RYS race committee for the briefing (average age 70+), our organisers and our sponsors.
The writing was on the wall from this point as the forecast was a steady 20-25mph (gusting more) south westerly with 3-4ft swells for the next 3 days and 9 races – not quite River Crouch conditions – with it subsiding slightly for the last race on the Sunday. Unfortunately their professional Met forecaster was spot on, and we all did our best to tweak/cope & survive the conditions.
I think it’s fair to say that we all have a lot to learn about racing in these conditions and the local boats, especially from Hayling Island, really showed the way it can be done with a string of consistent results.
We did manage a few top tens within the Burnham fleet which we were all pleased with and had great fun dealing with the conditions and a very busy start line which included at least 6 general recalls.
Thinking about it if we had put all the individual top tens together we may have just got one boat in the top ten!!
The days were long, and I think we all looked forward to getting back on the Squadron lawn each day to rest, dry out and of course rehydrate with too many beers!
The RYS ran a superb event, both afloat and ashore, and the sponsors were incredibly generous to the fleet with their goody bags and pre drinks parties.
I’m sure we will look forward to future events and hopefully see a few more Elites join us in Burnham week for our Elite Eastern Championships.