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First race, last sail

September 26, 2018

After much faffing around, we managed to get off our mooring and make it to the start of our first ever race onboard our Macwester Malin, just in time to see the field burst across the starting line. By the time we threw up our sails and found the wind, we crossed the start line ten minutes after the start of the race – not the best of starts to our racing career then.

It was late September, and the crew was feeling well enough to try a trip on the water, however we had additional crew for the day in the shape of our yacht-less chums from the club, one of whom is a naval architect. It wasn’t too long before we were heading directly into the front-runners on their way back down river.

Firmly in last place, we were nevertheless enjoying ourselves and having started ten minutes after everyone else, we had already accepted that our Macwester Malin wasn’t going to make it anywhere near the silverware cupboard on her debut. I spent quite a bit of time out on deck getting up close and personal with a pole, trying to ensure that we could goose-wing our way down river. Lunch was good, and the apple brandy that our guests had very-kindly provided was even gooder (that’s a real word; if you don’t believe me look it up).

The half-way point was the welcoming bar at Blackness Boat Club. While we were in there, the wind picked up from the west, and that would make leaving more of a challenge than we had imagined when we arrived alongside. In the end, we had to wait for Calloo to leave the end of the pier for fear that we might be blown into her. With Fyne Thyme inside us acting as a floating starters hut, this meant that we were the last yacht across the starting line for the return leg too.

Fortunately we had much catching up to do (socially), and amongst other interesting conversation, we heard about our naval architect chum’s new electric tender model [see here], one of which was being auctioned for charity over at the Monaco Yacht Show a few days later. I haven’t been onboard the new model, but the predecessor was a hoot when we went out for a spin back in 2014 [see here]

We had a choice to make, and at the cost of missing the opportunity to get back on to our drying mooring, we opted to finish the race. Unbelievably, we didn’t finish last, and I reckon our time might even have managed a whiff of respectability if we had started at the same time as the rest of the field. For us though, it wasn’t about the racing, it was about making it out on to the water one last time during the season …and the great company. Thanks to the owner of Louise for the shot above.

A few days later our chum’s electric tender sold for a whopping €1.8 million at the charity auction. Well I was impressed anyhoo.

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