Carthusians in Cowes

Carthusians enjoy a fantastic day of yacht racing in Cowes 

Staff and pupils would like to thank the Old Carthusian Yacht Club and the Royal Yacht Squadron for hosting a fantastic day of J70 yacht racing on the Isle of Wight on Sunday.

The forecast was for light drizzle and a wind of about 12knots. The prediction on the wind was somewhat askew to start, as stronger gusts and associated chop, made for sprightly conditions in the upwind legs, but thankfully the wind eased and the clouds cleared to leave fantastic conditions later on. The fleet of six J70s were moored up in Shephard’s Marina and we all took a few minutes to learn a little more about the lines on these yachts.

The squadron RIBS then towed us out into the bay, and the minute the sails were up, so was the spray, as we spread out and raced into Osborne Bay. Four intense races proceeded in quick procession with hardly a minute to grab a snack in between. That was not a problem, as I think we were all too excited to bother about eating sandwiches!

For most of the races, crew were standing fairly vertical on the upwind legs and then jumping around trying to untangle the spinnaker on the downwind legs. The helms and skippers were fantastically patient with crew members who lacked experience, and also actively encouraged those wishing to stretch their knowledge such as Max, who was able to build on his recently achieved Dinghy Instructor certification.

We cannot thank the team at the RYS enough for giving up many hours in planning this event and no doubt they got up even earlier than we did to prepare the yachts and the course. We are grateful for all you did for us. Thanks also go to our Charterhouse pupils who were enthusiastic and showed much nautical knowledge as well as turning the expression “all hands on deck” into a reality. We were sorry that we did not have sufficient time to demolish all of the cream tea and chocolate cake served back at the Squadron.

Despite this failing we have been invited back next year, with the proposal that Winchester join in the competitive racing. Many thanks go to David Aisher and Tim Miller, who arranged so much. Thanks also go to Mr Barraclough for the seamless planning, and Mr Ninham, Mr Bagley and Mrs Curry for giving up their Sunday.