11th Torbay Explorer Unit took part in the Small Ships Race in the Solent
Steve Sheppard had once a again got a crew together, and on the Thursday evening we travelled up to the River Hamble to board the boat, called ‘Discovery’, we met the Skipper and the Mates, got kitted out with our wet weather gear and life-jackets, and took our personal gear to the boat. We were split into two watches, Port and Starboard.
For supper we had Hot Dogs and then went to bed. The next day we made our way down the River Hamble into the Solent, where we needed to practice maneuvering the boat around buoys, and sail changes. We then had a competition, one watch against the other watch to see who could change the sail in the fasted time, and the skipper felt it was a draw.
Each Watch also took turns to prepare the meals and wash up while the boat was moving this was a new experience for some of the crew.
We moored up in the Southern Marina of Cowes and then prepared the evening meal.
The next morning everyone had to be up at 06.30, to have breakfast, prepare the boat for racing and to practice our dance routine for the Sail pass on our way to the start line.
Steves daughter, Becky was a crew on a different boat, they won this event, with the crew performing the Rowing Boat song.
The wind was blowing force 5 and getting stronger, We sailed up and down the start line, with the time for starting coming over the radio, 5 minute warning, 2 minute warning, then the cannon fired and we were off, going down wind we hoisted the Jib and Stay sail, we were now having gust of winds up to Force 7, and that was how it stayed for the rest of the day.
As we were racing so we were soon calling out to other crews for water and mast abeam on our approach to the marker buoys, which is all part of the Sailing Rules whilst racing.
On the second buoy we slipped inside an old sailing ship and forced her to give us room, under the rules of course.
After rounding the downwind mark we turned, and then the waves started coming over the bow, we had a slight problem in that one of the sails that we had changed and tied to the guard rail was now being swept overboard, so the first mate Ian and myself, (Terry) ventured to the bow with the boat heeling at 30-35 degrees to retrieve the sail, by the time we had got back to the cockpit it was time for a cup of tea. We came 6th out of 14 boats in our group, but we beat the other boats from the Discovery sailing project.
Here’s to booking a place for next year’s Race.
More photos of the race can be found by visiting the UK Sail Training Facebook page here
Full race results can be found here
This report by Terry Porter ADC Water Activities.
For more information on joining the 11th Torbay Sea Scout Group please call Paul Bailiss on 07917 453454
For more information on Discovery DSP please click here
>> Read "Small Ships Race 2017"