Sunday, 21 June 2009

Round the Island, again

Well, once again it is the HUGE annual Round the Island Race as close on 1,800 boats race anti-clockwise around the Isle of Wight on the UK's south coast.

Here we all are at sunset the night before, all ready to be up-at-dawn for a tense start with all computers blazing! So many boats ready here gunwhale to gunwhale that you can walk right across the haven. We had a very good race, but hitting the rusting boiler of the Varvassi wreck at the Needles was a bit scary (and very loud below decks our navigator Carole assures me), although it puts us in a very exclusive club.

For those of you who don't race these things it is interesting to reflect on how little weight there is on board: a very little diesel, water, enough food, but jars through sleeping bags to cutlery are all gone. Our rig - mast, boom, sails even - is largely carbon - the "pitching" inertia at the mast tip is the square of the distance from the axis of pivot (ie the hull) so weight aloft with a big rig really does slow a boat. As my son at 10 once memorably said in a TV interview sailing has a lot of physics, meteorology, chess-like-tactics, engineering, computing and more. Plus it is flippin hard athletic work with scary bits too.

Nice though...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Matthew Kiddle commented via Facebook: some of us even went as far as getting rid of the toilet, the down below, 20 foot off the length, and 7 of the crew!