Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Saga Continues post 11

                                  Hi to all The Saga Continues from post 10

So after re starting the engine and being really wary of it, we lifted the anchor and motored out to the anchorage and anchored GL for the night. I did go ashore for a short while, but only to let everyone know GL was here. (they all knew anyway)
Thursday 17 
Morning I went to the skippers meeting and registered GL into the regatta, I didn't enter the single handed race, or the concourse de elegance, I was a bit too tired. We found a berth and moved the boat round into the marina.
Met up with Sara ad Doug, also Barry, and met many friends from previous regattas, in the evening, all parties and festivities were attended by all, with due decorum, as was suitable for the occasion (in my dreams). The two girls were making me proud and impressing everyone, fitting and tuned in on the same wave length!
From my point of view, I was so made up to show my 1st visitors from home, just what I've been getting up too these past couple of years.
Friday 18
1st day racing, all starts at 10.00am for us
We had a great days sailing, joined by Barry and Dr Markes as well, strong winds again this year, but many boats too see, didn't see our competition though. My friends on 'Old Bob' were here again as well.
Early events and again all parties given a good dose of support, we came second in class.
Saturday 19
2nd day, Barry and Dr Markes didn't turn up, and it was beach day for the girls, so with Sara and Doug we went out for the start. Wind was somewhat stronger, and we had a blistering start! 1st over the line with the lee rail buried in the sea! after leading the whole fleet for about 2 minutes there was a loud noise and the boat started slowing down, Sara then found my outer jib had split in two!!! @**><$%! I did have a spare jib but it was buried underneath too much stuff to get out. So instead of retiring we took the jib off and while watching the fleet disappearing got the beer out and carried on slowly round the course. We had a great day! with all pressure off we had time to watch everyone else racing. As we approached the finish on the last leg, as one of the last boats, we spotted 'Old Bob' in the distance, they were on their last tack to the finish line, we still had to put one more tack in, with Doug on the tiller we gradually made up the distance, and just after I took the helm, we tacked about 400 yrds in front of them onto the same tack, as GL climbed into the wind I tried to make a double across the finish, Bang! Bang!  the gun went off as quick as you can say that!! Magic! And we again came 2nd in class.
Sunday 20
3rd day, and the 'Cannon' race,  this race is 6 miles into the Atlantic Ocean and back, Twice! it is also the race where you get to pass and see every boat racing and taking part in the classics, big as well as small. After the race is finished, a 'Parade of Sail' through English Harbour, and past an assembled audience follows. A commentator gives a brief description and history of each vessel as they pass in front of  the crowd.
Oh No
All crew were aboard for this one.
GL had been taking water while racing for some reason. When back at the dock, Nothing.
We had a good start in lots of wind, now flying my spare jib we were sailing sweet and fast, on the third leg water was coming in faster than I could pump it out? even with the engine running its bilge pump! Then in time with the engine revs a sound like a machine gun firing started? water was now over the floor level but I had to shut down the engine in case of serious damage.
A tough decision had to be made, to call out for rescue, mean time, I had the crew using a bucket help me bail the water out! After seeing that that was working, I made the call, everyone heard this call to the committee, "please can you get a salvage pump to GL ASAP! we are sinking and using a bucket to stay afloat as I speak!" "not out here though," "but after we cross the finish line please!"
Just after crossing the finish line 2nd in class again, the ABSAR rescue boat delivered a pump, and as I had no engine took me in tow to the Slipway Shipyard to haul her out right away! This meant I had to go past in the parade being rescued! shame! But as I later found out, not many people in the crowd noticed the rescue boat hidden from view on my  portside. and approx 20 mins later and with a beer, I was in that crowd applauding the boats going past! my boat high and dry in the yard!
As I was now out of the racing and in the yard,  Rowan, Maggs, Sara and Doug had to arrange accomm, so I was left to sort GL out. We did  all the parties again in the evening though.
Monday 20
A day off everything for me.
Tuesday 21
The Girls had another beach day, the rest of us did the gig racing at the Admirals Inn, and in the evening we did the prize giving, and parties.
Even though I didn't race the last day I had come 2nd in class and was on the podium to receive the prize, and this year I received from my peers aboard 'Old Bob' the Old  Bob Trophy!! Truly Magic!
And so ends the tale of Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta 2014
PS I went with the girls to the airport April 24, to see them off, bit sad to see them go, we had had such a good time.

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