Looking back at 2013

31 Dec 2013

I bought Elsa at the end of Feb 2013. Lying in Portsmouth Harbour, I made many day trips down visiting her, familiarising, practising, and motoring / sailing around inside the harbour. A combination of unfavourable Easterly winds, lack of confidence, and hoping for crew availability kept her in Portsmouth until I made my epic solo passage round to Littlehampton in mid May.
I bought the boat thinking I’d be doing coastal passages, overnight trips, weekending along the Sussex coast and to the Isle of Wight and places. But it turned out I didn’t do any of that. Someone suggested I go racing and I found that to be huge fun. Short duration cruiser races, around the cans outside Littlehampton, with various crew, combining with lunch and drinks in the clubhouse chatting to the other crews, was great.
We’ve ended the season placed 5th out of 9 boats in the Arun YC ‘Len Nolan series’ of cruiser races, an excellent result for my first year of competing.
I’ve had lots of advice and support and encouragement from the other club members. Sailing with Dad, and with James, was brilliant. And I have spent countless hours happily sat on the boat at the pontoon, fiddling with kit, making cup-a-soup, eating sandwiches and observing the life on the river. That by itself has been worth the price of the boat!
There’s been a bit of drama, most notably the snapped rudder blade, but no lasting damage and all fixed afterwards.
Looking at the logbook (and not counting those practise runs around Portsmouth as I didn’t log those) the record shows:
115 nautical miles travelled
2 cans of petrol used
1 coastal passage
0 nights aboard
6 races sailed
3 solo short trips around the area
I’ve also very much enjoyed getting involved at the club. Being in the committee boat on a Thursday evening for the dinghy racing, helping with the pontoon dismantling and rebuild, doing the powerboat course, helping secure and prevent damage to other boats in the December storms, all very rewarding. In 2014 I hope to carry on with the racing, tweak the boat’s performance to get the best out of her, maybe do some coastal passages towards Brighton or Chichester or back round to Portsmouth, stay aboard overnight sometimes, and continue to enjoy the life at Arun YC.

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