Boarded the yacht for delivery on night of 19 August ,then celebrated with 60th birthday with my new friends !
Slipped lines the following day and once out in the channel there was the mandatory parade of sail and sailing in formation for the helicopter photo shoot. Basically the skippers agree on the sail plan ,we motor with main ,then put up headsail and sail in a diamond arrangement upwind and then peel off downwind one by one.
The rest of the delivery was a fairly chilled affair . Having started upwind in 15 to 20 knots we turned downwind toward Dover in a gradually lightening . We started our 3 watch system ,with the watches named ‘Visit ‘ ‘Sanya ‘ ‘China ‘ which gave us an experience of how things would run in the race. We were able to test all our spinnakers and later all our headsails . There were a few minor incidents such as getting a spinnaker sheet caught under the boat on a gybe. To all of the crew’s relief Seumas kept us sailing around the wind farms outside the Thames entrance whilst most of the fleet arrived earlier and anchored overnight. Along the way bread and cake was baked ,again a test for what is to come.
Finally after rendezvousing with the rest of the fleet we motored down the Thames in formation . Arriving through the loch gates at St Katherine’s Marina to the tune of our team song ,’Adventure of a Lifetime ‘. Race start is nearly here.