Pip reflects on a successful Cowes Week

Tuesday 15th August

It’s over, and I have the traditional sore throat to prove
it has been a tough week.

I hate to think how many Cowes week’s I have raced in; more
than I have fingers that is for sure. This year I was skipper for one of the
Sunsail F40 boats and what a week it was.

Several days of big breeze, new novice clients every morning
and an ultra competitive fleet meant I was working my socks off, all day and
exhausted every evening.

We had some great results including an early 1st
and a 3rd; my clients Cazenove Capital Management, who are now in
their 6th year of sailing in this event with me, all loved the
experience and after a couple of hours instruction on the water, were racing
the boat like a well oiled crew, including pole less spinnaker manoeuvres and
some super slick mark rounding.

I’m not a hundred percent sure they knew these manoeuvres
were either difficult or slick, but I certainly lavished praise on them as the
spinnaker came down yet again hitch free and dry.

All this is done by having an extra eager and attentive crew
who do just what they are told, when they are told to do it. It’s just like
single handed sailing in a way, you break down the task and then give
instructions to each person of how and when to deal with their sail or rope.

This year I was treated to the luxury of a mate onboard, and
Phil Stubbs who was my co-skipper for the two handed round Britain and Ireland
race, joined me for the week and was ever on hand to avert disaster and
generally run around when things went wrong.

To be honest as the week went on my mind started to wander a
bit from rounding marks in the Solent.

I am leaving for France on Tuesday and the countdown to the
transat is now 41 days. I have so much to do and have to admit to becoming a
little distracted towards the end of the week.

I was sleeping on one of the boats and every morning for the
last four nights of Cowes week I woke up at precisely 0630, in a sweat and a
panic and hit my head; with job lists reeling round and round in front of my

Going to France is a cut off point for me and a big mental
corner. I have agreed with myself that once I am in La Rochelle the mini is
going to be the only thing that matters in my life.

It is time to say goodbye to those friends who will not make
it to the start; to tie up loose ends in work; to moth ball my faithful big
Shed and to look to the 25th September.

I’m on my way!

See Pip’s next blog here