Making the Most of a Minimal Budget. Contact me at: or on Twitter: @skintsailor

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Sail-Oriented weekend But Cruise in Jeopardy.

Well, I went with Jim down to the Americas Cup World Series practice sessions yesterday. It's a good job we had decent waterproofs because the rain started about 5am and never gave up all day.

How do I know it started at 5am? Well, I saw the weather forecast but just in case decided to get an early night and if it turned out dry I was going to go out on the boat and watch. So it was back to bed and then donned the waterproofs just before lunch when the racing started.

This is the rainy view we got:

To be honest the race was a bit unfathomable, with the boats going all over the place in seemingly random patterns. Not sure what was going on.

The weather forecast for Saturday was good, so I thought I might get up early and get out on the boat to spectate. So I went to bed and..... woke up 9 hours later and way too late to get on the boat and catch the last of the outgoing tide.

To be honest that's probably my subconcious going "Meh!" at the thought of watching it again.

Anyway, later in the day I braved the crowds and watched the race, this time with commentary from Express FM. I saw that many people had taken to the water to spectate:

So with a commentary could I make some sense of it at all? Nope, still couldn't make head nor tails of what was going on, even with a commentary! The boats were too far away, they weren't really that impressive I guess because the wind wasn't strong enough for them to foil much. To add insult to injury a J class yacht flying a spinnaker came down the Solent behind the race. The huge yacht was far more impressive than the AC45s, despite there being the best part of a century between them.

Here's a shot of today's "action":

I know the AC45s are at the cutting edge of sailing technology, but I imagine foiling 60ft catamarans as per the original spec of the ACWS would have been even more impressive. I obviously have an interest in sailing and I'd love it if we won the Americas Cup, but the actual event left me cold.

I'm not sure that the current format of the event shows the boats off to their best. All it seems to be is a corporate jamboree for the champagne swillers, very much like the London boat show seems to have become, with a bit of sailing tacked on. I certainly don't think the current race format suits something as special as the Americas Cup. I just think it belittles it.

Anyway, after watching the race I was supposed to be cruising down the South Coast this week, but so far a day full of rain on Sunday and gales Monday/Tuesday are ruining that plan.

Maybe I can salvage a couple of days in the week to sail up the Solent and stay over for a night. But the weather is so variable at the moment if I do stay out for a night there's no telling if it will allow me to come back!


  1. Nah.. going to have to disagree... hugely exciting.... check out the highlights on Beeb 2 tonight... second race Saturday it looked like Oracle was about to take off at 45' in one race.... huge crowds on Saturday (60K they reckon??), they can't all be swilling champagne.. :o))

    PS. Best of luck with the cruise, but it ain't looking good..... :o(

  2. From the shore even with the commentary it was hard to see why the boats were taking different courses. The problem was there was no explanations on the shore as to the course they were supposed to take. I watched the highlights on BBC iPlayer today although there wasn't much publicity on BBC as to when it would be shown. Don't get me started on how barren the common was on the day compared to the VIP area in the Castle. Don;t get me wrong, I'm glad it's come to Portsmouth but I just think it needs a bit more work to make it a memorable event.

    The cruise looks to be on hold until Wednesday/Thursday, although my son's down from London tomorrow so I may be looking after him.