The Marine Industry Regatta 2016 took place at Port Solent at the beginning of June and we sailed in Sunsail First 40’s. The Regatta is a great way to catch up with friends and other like-minded marine professionals, but we were not there just for the sailing. The event raises money for two great charities: the John Merricks Sailing Trust and the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation.
Barton Marine’s Sales Coordinator, Hazel Morris and I arrived at a very windy Port Solent, and it was clear that Hazel was having second thoughts about this Event being a good idea! We met up with the rest of our British Marine crew and it was great to see a few good friends in the bunch. We all got kitted up (which was fun for some as they squeezed into their sailing kit for the first time in a while) and we headed out of the harbour into the racing area of the Solent.
We all settled into the first race which went off as planed - the only down side being that we were in the mid pack - but all were having a good time - even Hazel seemed to be enjoying herself! But as the second race got underway things were about to change!
We got away at the start with a good first leg on rounding the mark. We hoisted the spinnaker - all going well - until with too much weight forward caused the boat to become difficult to steer. And then…everything that could go wrong started to go wrong! Two boats in front of us broached, and taking avoiding action, we jibed and broached ourselves. I looked forward and most of the crew where half underwater, the mast was very close to the top of a wave, and Hazel slid behind me heading for the back of the boat and out to sea! With one hand on the wheel, I used the other hand to grab the strap on the back of her life vest. As everything began to get a little more normal, our attentions switched to getting the spinnaker down - and true to form, we ended up with it in the water like a big sea anchor. After all this excitement, we did what all great Brits do and had a cup of tea and got on with the third race. We finished the regatta in the rain, all a bit quiet on board, but we all had a great time. I thought Hazel would never step foot on a sail boat again, but once on dry land, to my relief, Hazel was buzzing and she’s up to do it all again. Let’s hope its sunny and less windy next year.
Thank you to all who took part in the Marine Industry Regatta 2016 – and special congratulations to winners from Marine Resources. It was a great day! See you next year!