no1

An early start today – unusually for training it was a 9.00am start. This is the first of the “Level Four” training sessions, where we are paired with our race skipper and crew – as is all of the participants on the training this week. Knowing how many people were going to be on training, I arrived at the car park at 8.15am to get the last car parking space. I knew it was going to be a bit tight, and didn’t fancy parking somewhere else and dragging my new Henri Lloyd case half way across Gosport.

First stop after getting the gear on the boat (still CV25 as we have no sponsor announced at this time) was to go to the store to pick up our foul weather gear. It seems that we are sharing our boat with Team Daniel, as neither of us had a full crew this week. Both have nine crew members, so a total of two skippers and eighteen crew. I walk up to the store with Jan from Team Daniel, funnily enough who I was standing in the queue with at the Crew Day in January when we were trying on the foul weather gear for size. After a short wait, we are issued with our gear. She has been issued with the Ladies sizes – a big debate here as they are a different style, and both of us decided to go for the Male variety. She had to go and try it on, as they were not having it that she ordered the men’s. She gives in and keeps the ladies – I told her not to, but she couldn’t be bothered to keep arguing. She had a quick look at mine and told me I had been issued with ladies too – hadn’t got my glasses so good job she was there. Off I went back – and swapped them with no problem at all. I would not have liked to have gone to put them on for the first time and found that they were not what I ordered.

We got back to the boat, and I managed to get the last lower bunk. Not sure what I am going to do if I am allocated an upper one on the race! The bag fitted neatly between the tank under the bunk and the bunk, and the dry bags with my spare set of clothes in one of the cave lockers at the side. All good so far!

After both sets of teams had a refresher on safety both upstairs and down, we got the boat ready to set off at 2pm. It was going to be a “Race Start” procession to leave the marina – with each boat leaving at three minute intervals. Apparently, the boats go on the dot whether you are on it or not – both here and at every race start. There were seven boats going out in all – five other crews were also sharing as only two had enough crew to fill one boat. It was a beautiful sunny day, and really lovely to see all of the boats going out one after the other.

We did a few manoeuvres to remind everyone of how things worked, and to get used to our fellow crew mates. At this point we are all working together, and not on a watch system. The wind got up a little, and I had another cup of coffee where the liquid is like a little whirlpool in the cup. It was an international crew again – on Wendy’s team there was a New Zealander, three Australians, one Columbian and four from the UK. On Dan’s crew there was one Russian, three Irish, one Scots and four from the UK.

We anchored around 9pm and then had dinner. There wasn’t quite enough bunks for everyone, and as everyone was having a full night’s sleep tonight I think the sail locker might be in use! We pulled lots for the anchor watch – just one hour each, but not good if you have to sleep, get up, and then go back to sleep again.

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