by Euan Hurter
So we have finally left the piece of land named Germany! We did however stay until Wednesday last week. The Monday and Tuesday after the Europeans were mellow, calmed down sessions and allowed us to regain our sense of humour. The weather was still utterly useless and we only had the odd moments of 10 knots. Tuesday was then cut short by thunderstorms and rain squalls that lasted the whole afternoon! That however gave us plenty of time to pack up and sort our lives out again.
We went out to a nice restaurant down the road for our last meal and were served by the same sweet waitress who had served us earlier on in the week (and had explained the whole German menu us).
Hamburg airport was the start of our entertaining Wednesday (2nd July). We had been dropped off at 08h30 when we had the 15h00 flight as Jochen (our designated German adult) was catching a morning flight. Upon arrival at our BA check-in counter, we were almost immediately told our sail box was too long for the plane. A good 30 minutes was spent on thinking of new ways to pack the sails and the battens and the rest of the sail box’s contents. There was consulting with many officials and also the pilot of the morning flight going to Heathrow. We were unaware why he was involved but he said that the box should fit in some special hold, provided that it would be lashed down. This was no guarantee and plans were made in case the box would not fit. We were then placed in the 10h00 Heathrow flight at 09h30 – so much for relaxing time intervals! But the good news was that just before we departed, we were told the box was on the plane.
There was a 5 hour wait in Heathrow for our bus (which had less trouble than the plane about our box) but there was enough to do to keep us entertained. Southampton, on the other hand, was a different story. The coach station was closed so I walked to McDonald’s down the road while Sean fiercely guarded the cargo outside the coach station. The damage of 2 hours was survived and we made it to Lymington spot on time.
Harry and Glynis Ellens looked after us and it was very pleasant. We slept and got fed well and a big thank you to Harry for picking the boat up prior to this and then taking us and the boat all the way the Weymouth.
Weymouth has been great these last two days (Thursday and Friday). We got coaching from Stevie Wilson whose has been very good. Thursday saw a building breeze from 12 to 20 knots. We went offshore and sailed in Weymouth waves – it’s similar, but smaller than Simonstown chop. Friday had more breeze and was 18-22 knots, and , maybe up to 25 in the big gusts. We stayed in the harbour the whole day for safety and it’s not that bad at all. The morning saw us pacing the Hong Kong youth worlds team. They were initially quicker than us, but we were quicker by the end of the session, which was a good confidence booster. The afternoon was spent in a 29er group of 5 boats doing tiny races with lots and lots of laps. We had lots of slip-ups but were never last so it was all okay. By the end of it, Sean actually fell over in the boat of exhaustion (imagine if he hadn’t been going to gym!).
Results after 4 races (53 boat fleet)
28 overall Euan & Sean HURTER 42; 22; 27; 27