Medway Regatta 2019

The Medway Regatta is a big weekend of racing for all classes of keelboat. There are races for Sonatas, Squibs, Dragons, Cruisers and even Thames Barges! The past few years I’ve focused my time underwater rather than on the water but not too many years back I used to spend time sailing dinghies on the Medway in the cadet class. This year I had the pleasure of joining my father and brother-in-law aboard Astral to participate in the Medway Challenge Race.

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The Challenge Race was a single held on the Sunday which allowed participants to take part in the regatta without needing to race for three full days. The course that morning was identical to that of other competitors also racing cruisers and sonatas for the full weekend but the start time was staggered and a different pennant was used to differentiate vessels. We started in to the wind in Gillingham reach and we got off the line well, with only one or two other boats around us and headed up river and out in to the estuary with about 15 knots of wind behind us. We passed a dragon which while waiting to start had collied with another and dismasted - not a good sight!

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It was a relaxed sail out into the estuary with the wind gradually picking up as we began to make our way past the Montgomery. We turned back towards Medway and taking advantage of the now stronger 22 knot wind had managed to keep at least one boat behind us. We were tacking down river against the tide which we had hoped would have changed before we passed sheerness point. In shallower waters we opted to reef the sails to maintain control of what was becoming a reasonably windy race.

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Back into Gillingham and the stronger winds and changing tide played into the hands of our immediate competitor who had a better line and cleaner wind across the line. A fantastic Sunday on the river and no shame in losing to a bigger boat! After the race we attended the Regatta Dinner at the clubhouse which was a great little opportunity to get dressed up and have a little too much wine!

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April 2017 - The Missing Blogs

April was a reasonably quiet month, Victoria and I began to welcome the warmer weather in our still relatively new home, and we managed to continue the trend of visiting Cornwall as often as possible!

After moving into our home, it was quite apparent that the decking in the back garden needed to be sorted quite early on. The deck had somehow developed an uneven shape that led to it being bouncy in places while also being incredibly slippery when wet. With a little planning, we agreed to buy the necessary materials and re-install it. Doing so, was no small feat and it needed several family members assistance to rip out the old and lay the new. Blood, sweat and tears went into building the new decking, but as I write this ten months later, I'm pleased to say it still stands strong.

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Topes has become a bit of a birthday tradition for us and well, who's surprised...? The food is as good as it gets. Always a complete treat we had a fantastic birthday meal and enjoyed dressing up for the occasion.

No longer was our birthday over before we were back on the road to Cornwall, the weather by this time had certainly improved, and Kelly and I agreed it was about time to pull the boat out and get it wet. We spent the day messing around Fowey and took the dinghy all the way up to Golant, further up river than we'd taken the boat before.

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Getting up close and personal to the Lifeboat is, of course, something that can't be avoided... Fowey has a beautiful Trent class lifeboat.

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As most will know, I am not a football fan, but an upcoming game with local Devon team Plymouth Argyle was not one to miss. They ended the match with a promotion to League 1 for 2017-18 and a 6-1 win over Newport. Oh, and there was a pitch invasion! Here's the BBC report.

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To close out the month and in preparation for Egypt later in the year, I took my PADI Nitrox course with Southern Scuba. A surprisingly easy certification I would recommend to anyone.