From a poor start in the first couple of races, the 141ft/43m schooner This Is Us went on to prove she’s no slouch, recording her first win in a superyacht regatta at Palma. David Glenn was aboard to witness her steady improvement
This is Us part two
Slow to turn and get back, even with the iron topsail flat out, we ended up 2min 30sec adrift at the gun leaving the yacht unusually absent of banter. Considering the excellent tactical race which then ensued, the starting error was even more exasperating. Roundings were excellent and we got the better of a hotly contested duel with the much larger Adela on the third leg. As we were in
possession of her ex-skipper, the needle match was even sharper.
The key moment came on a beat to a mark to the east of the bay when we set off on starboard with Adela’s massive press of sail threatening our weather hip. Surely she would roll us, but she couldn’t and in the end had to tack away to clearer air. “Cover her!” exclaimed someone. “Carry on,” said another. “Difficult to call,” came yet another opinion. Ray Dwyer stuck to his guns, opted to carry on then called the killer tack putting us several boat lengths ahead at the cross. A slight shift and one fewer tacks did the trick. The Kattack online tracker reveals all!
We could do no wrong from there on in, the sail handling and foredeck work in particular going without a hitch and in a thrilling finish we crossed tacks with Lionheart on the line to come home 3rd in class with Drumfire proving to be the boat to beat and Scorpione dei Mari splitting the two of us.
This was more like it and the collective sigh of relief could have been heard in Menorca. Ray Dwyer, who had been the picture of remorse since the previous day’s faux pas, said: “Even an old blind sow picks up an acorn once in a while…”
The truth is that even had we hit the start line on time we would still have been unable to overhaul Drumfire and Scorpione on this showing. But what both races had revealed was that This Is Us is a very rapid machine and in the hands of veteran schooner sailor Patrick Whetter, she had the potential to be lethal. He claimed she was one of the sweetest yachts he has ever steered.