Saturday, 17 August 2013

Watersports and Celebration

Blindfold rowing - John and Emma lead Mike and Sarah
Today started wet and windy but nevertheless the gaffer's festival continued with watersports in and around the marina. These were similar to the ones we had enjoyed in Ipswich where the weather had been much warmer. 

D and Mary from Minstrel took part in the downwind rubber dinghy racing. Propelled by two large coloured
umbrellas they contributed elegance and dignity but at a more measured pace than some of the participants. We had more success in the blindfold rowing which was won by John and Emma in Young Alert's dinghy. Runners up were Sarah and myself in Bonita's deflating inflatable. The twins will have to decide how best to share the prize - an engraved commemorative glass - with George as owner of the winning dinghy.

The winning Solent clog
The photo shows hot competition in the clog racing. Various teams have spent weeks converting wooden clogs into ingenious sailing boats. Steering was sometimes erratic in the gusty winds. The race was won by a clog boat made by the OGA's Solent area.

Sian's RBC cake
In the evening the extended Beckett family were invited to Sian and Ant's flat outside Cowes. Also present were Jon, Jane and Geoff who had crewed for me at various stages of the trip. Sian and Ant had arranged a magnificent celebration to mark Bonita's big voyage. The picture below shows a magnificent round Britain cake complete with key ports identified and surrounded by a turbulent sea.

11 of Bonita's 16 RBC crew. Tim, Geoff, D, Jane, Mike, Sian,
Sarah, Ant, Emma, John and Jon
The fourth picture shows the members of the crew in their prized Beckett Rankine sponsored shirts. The evening was a suitable tribute to the affection in which the old boat is held.

Tomorrow there are plans for one of the biggest races of gaff rigged boats ever held, but strong winds are forecast so it remains to be seen how many make it out there.