With an all girl crew, we were looking forward to this year’s regatta as an extra special challenge, however with warm-up conditions blowing 30 knots and more, we conceded the need for some extra muscle on our 48 footer…
Janny, Karen and Kim Prepare for the Racing
[dropcap]A[/dropcap]ssembled for our preparatory week, Kim, Karen and Janny enjoyed a fab week sailing Grand Case, St Barth’s and Anguilla. Janny and I had an easy sail up to Grand Case where we had a nice if noisy evening ashore at Grand Case Mardi. The following day we spent a lunchtime in Anse Marcel, before sailing round to Simpson Bay for the night, and then to Philipsburg the next morning where Karen joined us.
The wind was starting to pick up as we sailed over to Anguilla, practicing our tacks for the regatta in the Anguilla Channel and around Anguillita Island, and after a night ashore on Road Harbour, we sailed out to the beautiful [pullquote_right]”Janny dived off the back to rescue the boat-hook”[/pullquote_right]and practically deserted Dog Island with its white sand beaches. Despite a rolling swell we had a great lunch on board before heading back to Dog Island for some snorkelling. Picking up the bouy at Sandy Island was a challenge in the strong winds, and we couldn’t keep hold of the boat-hook. Janny dived off the back to rescue it, and nearly ran out of breath swimming back to the boat in the waves and current…we didn’t bother trying a second time!!
Sailing to St Barth’s
After lunch stop at another white sand beach of Maundy Bay, we spent an evening in Marigot to pick up Kim before setting off for St Barth’s. We had a beautiful sail over with the wind a little forward of the beam then lost it behind the island, motoring into Gustavia for a chilled out evening ashore. We enjoyed a great day or so shopping in the designer boutiques and snorkelling with the turtles and myriad of fish at Columbier.
Race Days One & Two
We headed back to Simpson Bay to get ourselves signed up for the regatta and enjoyed a night out at Port de Plaisance Marina where the opening night’s party was. It was my birthday, and the girls had made me a lovely card with balloons and a coconut cream cake! We’d previously gone out that afternoon for some practice sailing, and had to ‘heave to’ in a squall with 39 knots of wind screaming!
A friend from Gibraltar and fellow skipper, Eric Bromham, joined us girls, with Francois for the first day of racing and we had a challenging day with a reef in the mainsail and 25 knots of wind for the Round the Island Race, starting in Simpson Bay and finishing in Philipsburg. It was an easy downwind until the turn of the coast and then a tough sail tacking hard up the Anguilla Channel in over 30 knots. We were all glad to round the Eastern-most mark and head back downwind along the opposite coast of the island. Our initial result showed us coming in as second place, but was quickly adjusted to 6th with our handicap; still, not a bad first day’s result!
Karen managed to wangle a tour of one of the elite carbon racing yachts at Palapa Marina that night and we [pullquote_left]”2 reefs in the mainsail and tough sailing conditions”[/pullquote_left]were lucky enough to be invited for dinner at the local steakhouse with the crew. We finished the night on the dance floor at the Red Piano Bar.
The second day saw us tacking close to Anguilla for a mark and then up to Tintamarre Island before heading back downwind for a finish in Marigot. With 2 reefs in the mainsail and tough sailing conditions, everyone was still wiped out from the day before and we didn’t enjoy the second day quite so much. We didn’t shame ourselves results-wise, but a vote amongst guests elected for abandoning the last day’s race and having a chilled out cruise round to the finishing point.
We had a long lie in and filled up with water in Marigot and were joined by Carolyn, a lady from St Maarten for a relaxing afternoon sail back to Simpson Bay for the Kimsha Beach closing party.
Thanks for all of your hard work, girls, we weren’t too shabby for 2 days of racing and we had a lot of laughs beforehand 🙂
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