It is 2 weeks to the day that Team Helly Hansen crossed the line in third place in the Cruiser B Class at Cowes Week. After a year of literally learning the ropes, Stephanie (eatsleepchic.ie), Faya (fitnessontoast.com), Stuart (averagejoes blog.co.uk) and myself (sportswomen.ie) worked together as a team with instruction from seasoned sailors Chris and ‘Jacko’ on an Oceanis 37. With a fleet of 28 boats at the start it was pretty hairy, but a good start and very little trouble over the almost 3 hour course brought us over the line in 2nd place with a blast of the canon for the top 3 finishers. With our handicap taken into account the boat dropped one place to third but not bad for a group of novice sailors at the oldest and largest sailing Regatta in the world.
Each of us were given a job on the boat and without too many mistakes it was “Champagne Sailing” from beginning to end. The sun was shining, the water was glistening, it was a perfect way to finish our year with Helly Hansen. My job was ‘winching’ (tightening the sheet (rope) using a mechanical device and handle) which can be hard work especially when you have to get that sail in as tight as you can after a tack or jibe. Working closely with Stephanie, Faya and Jacko we did our job well while Stuart looked after the main sail.
As we approached the homeward straight, the spinnaker was launched and it was my job to hold the sheet (rope) attached to the spinnaker, leaving it in or letting it out when needed. It was a great buzz crossing the line with the canon blasting and we celebrated into the evening with fireworks and an acrobatic pilot in a fighter jet for some entertainment.
While our year with Helly Hansen has come to an end I hope to continue sailing here in Kinsale and may be further afield if the opportunity should arise. While in Cowes I was reminded of the first time I ever went sailing, on Lake Entebbe in Uganda. In my late twenties I knew nothing about the wind or what a jibe or tack meant but off I went out on a laser dinghy, knowing I liked what I was doing but not knowing how to control it !
This past year has been a great learning experience and it has shown me that anyone can learn how to sail, it is never too late !
Thank you Team Helly Hansen !
|GBR8225T||REACH 4 THE WIND||0.960||15:50:48||03:20:48||03:12:46||14|
|GBR3897L||ANNE OF WIGHT||0.977||15:48:33||03:18:33||03:13:59||15|
|GBR2934L||EBB PAPER SOIREE||0.981||15:49:30||03:19:30||03:15:43||16|
|GBR2935L||NEXUS VIS A VIS||0.981||15:57:36||03:27:36||03:23:39||18|
|30||CUNNING PLAN B||0.968||16:04:03||03:34:03||03:27:12||21|
|GBR2742L||EBB PAPER M LADY||0.981||16:08:41||03:38:41||03:34:32||24|
|GBR5754T||SEA NYMPH III||0.953||16:29:36||03:59:36||03:48:20||26|