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Guest postsMothers of Africa

Sailing for Mothers of Africa: how it all worked out

30 June 2015

Blog Post Author: Mr Richard Penketh

Eddystone Charity Pursuit 13th of June 2015

I cannot thank you enough for donating to our fundraising effort for Mothers of Africa. You have enabled a very successful event and raised a total of £3127.20 plus £210.86 in prize money = £3338.06. I am reliably informed by the Mothers of Africa that this will either sponsor a three person educational visit or the training and subsistence during training of a nurse anaesthetist.

Pre event team photo
Pre event team photo
Jack making the most of the wind
Jack making the most of the wind

The day of the event dawned with overcast skies and a 15 – 20 knot breeze form the south. This meant that the yachts had to tack to the Eddystone rock so the distance travelled and time taken were considerably longer than the 13 miles would suggest. The principle of a pursuit race is that each yacht has a handicap and the start time reflects the anticipated speed of each boat such that in a perfect world everyone would be crossing the finish line at the same time. The smaller boats (20ft long) left the start line at 08.00

We started the event next to last (10.40) with one reef in already as my prime objective was to get round the course safely without too many tears.  It wasn’t long before the boat heeling brought the terrified look to my daughters face and the requests to “go home now”.  We talked her round, dumped the main down the track and promised reduced genoa at the next tack, which we duly did.  As her confidence built and we engaged her in singing and looking at the boats we were beginning to catch up her spirits rose and she began to enjoy herself.   We had no more distress or thoughts of retirement and she started to get excited when we were smacking the waves despite water running down the deck and under her bottom!  We were also excited to be able to catch up and overtake several boats especially just short of the line and in particular not to caught by the 50 ft Beneteau behind us!!

Rounding the lighthouse
Rounding the lighthous
Rounding the lighthouse 2

 

There was an appetite for a bit of lunch once the rock had been rounded
There was an appetite for a bit of lunch once the rock had been rounded
There was an appetite for a bit of lunch once the rock had been rounded 2

As explained in advance the event works on a points system with points gained for registering early 63/65, our ranking in the sponsorship raised 66 /max 73 and lastly our performance on the water 20 points out of a max 73, which means we out performed 19 boats. Overall ranking 16th – not bad for a first time venture.

Skipper being presented with event momento  by one of the organizers helpers
Skipper being presented with event momento by one of the organizers helpers
Youngest crew member with trophy
Youngest crew member with trophy

Following the race the evening event was held in the Eddystone hall of the National Aquarium. One hundered and fifty people seated for dinner will a back drop of a 30 ft high glass wall of an aquarium. Serian is absolutely delighted with her engraved tankard for being one of the youngest sailors. This marks a very positive milestone in her sailing experience, and in fact the whole event was a great bonding exercise and sailing confidence boost for us as a family – a real team building effort.   We are all determined to join in again next year.  Perhaps will a little more planning we can do even better for the chosen charity – anyone got any good ideas?