well we managed to keep the liver in one piece, Cowes is a strange place filled with chinless folk who like to wear salmon shirts with jumpers wrapped over shoulders, or salmon coloured shorts and deck shoes...... people have names like Tarquin and Sebastian...
Then we arrived ! Jordan made a wonderful impression driving the car complete with boat on trailer up the pedestrianized high street much to the disgust of some rear admiral Akbar chap.
Day one of the championships (which were over two days, day one had 3 races back to back 4 laps a race, day two had two races back to back) we were sailing in a force 5 with a sea state of 3ft swell.... the frequency of the waves were perfect to swallow a flying fifteen ! We witnessed a number of boats being flattened, before we ourselves broached, then were swamped by the sea until only the mast and consul were above water.
we retired and limped back to Cowes haven....... this cost us a good position within the fleet for the remainder of the championships, but its better to retreat and regroup than to sink a boat and drown.
day two was great we completed both races mid fleet, but the damage had been done on day one, mixed with some bad spinnaker handling by me when gybing the kite and I "hour glassed" the spinnaker without fail every time ! we made up for the error crossing the line leaving a new boat in our wake, flying the genoa and the kite almost to a reach and at about 15 - 18knts..... thought we were going to collide with the committee boat. surprised a few people it did !
day three was the Jubilee race starting off the Squadron line (usually reserved for the more prestige races) the start went well, and for us at least was without issue, we had timed everything perfectly and were the second (legitimate) boat to cross the start line... all was well until we were becalmed. then it became tedious ! long story short, there were three boats left in the race that hadn't retired, South Africa, Hong kong, and us...... but I persuaded Jordan to sack it off so we did.
the south Africans won, and the trophy was massive ! Jordan put a polite face on but I think he may have wanted to kill me..... in my defence, no boat finished the race, but they were the last to quit, in my books that isn't a win and made the trophy less valuable.... so we came third and got a really naff ashtray / olive dish... very naff prizes for such a prestige and historic fleet, but hey ho.
without a shadow of a doubt Jordan's boat outshone the whole fleet for its presentation, and numerous people were asking if this was the "Campbell blue" boat. We were also approached by many people asking about the project etc as we were wearing our blue bluebird shirts.
nevertheless we were still the stinking scum from up north
good fun was had, and I would do it again for sure
may need to save up for the bar bill though
don't know why I needed to tell you all of the above, but I am having my bait at work so tough !