The West Cup – 2014

Report from Fiona Brown

Given the weather so far this summer it should have been no surprise that the weather for this race, a highlight of the racing calendar, should be positively vile.

Only 4 yachts left the harbour with ‘Humdinger’ making a rapid, and sensible, decision to turn straight back to make their mooring before the boatman went off.  ‘Border Maid’, ‘Wizz Too’ and ‘Peak Flow’ circled the committee boat and started the race, just as the cold NE wind ratcheted up a few more notches, ‘Border Maid’ reefed as did ‘Peak Flow’ but the wind continued to increase and ’Border Maid’ turned for home.  Rarely does a Dragon retire but ‘Wizz Too’ heard the increasing wind reports on the VHF from the Dalgety Bay race team and surfed back to harbour at 10+ knots!

‘Peak Flow’ put in a second reef of both main and genoa, not something the skipper could ever recall doing previously, and this well-built boat took the rather rough seas out by the Fife side well.  Once past Inchkeith the sea moderated and although it rained for the rest of the day it was an exhilarating sail though all of us were glad that the race officers from ‘Hopscotch’ had shortened the course to 1 round!

Soaked through we had a wet wait for the tide to come in.   We were cheered by a flask of coffee, some cake and a glow of having completed a challenge.  It was good though to head home to hot baths, food and drink, it may be hell at sea but it does make you appreciate home comforts.

Peak Flow: Skipper – John Spencely, crew- George and Fiona Brown

“I really don’t know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it’s because in addition to the fact that the sea changes, and the light changes, and ships change, it’s because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears…” JF Kennedy


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