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All Aboard!

Dec 11, 2015
Movers set sail with Animo and Currencies Direct.

It was a bright and breezy day when the salty sea dogs of the moving industry gathered once more in Portsmouth for the annual sailing regatta organised by Animo Events and sponsored by Currencies Direct. If those unused to sailing thought it was going to be a gentle drift around the Solent, a few nibbles and a glass of something warming, they were soon to learn differently.

The Solent in Autumn is rarely benign as those more experienced mariners already knew. Sure the sun was shining but those who had checked the forecast were under no illusions that someone, somewhere, was going to get wet. 20 knots of breeze were forecast from the east and with the tide in flood it was going to be a fast, choppy broad reach down to the world famous port of Cowes on the Isle of Wight for lunch.

True to form the forecast was a little conservative. With gusts topping 30 knots at times tacking downwind to lay the entrance to Cowes was always going to be tricky even aboard the four very capable Beneteau 40 yachts. However it was all in a day’s work for the experienced captains provided by Sunsail and most of the crews arrived oblivious to the slightly precarious voyage they had undertaken.

After lunch the mood changed. For a start the yachts had to be turned into the force seven wind to make the passage back to Portsmouth: a point of sailing that is always wet, bumpy and sometimes alarming for those not familiar with the principle of sailing with the lee gunnel underwater and hanging on by their finger nails. Then there was the element of competition. The four yachts were racing back to Portsmouth, pushed hard, with the (by now) well drilled crews hauling and grinding until their muscles screamed for mercy.

The race was one long beat against the wind to the sanctuary of Portsmouth Harbour. Although the tide had turned against the sailors, making the journey much longer, in doing so it was flowing in the same direction of the wind having the effect of flattening the sea and making the movement of the boats much smoother than if the wind and tide had been against each other.

The racing was intense with boats hugging each shore line for as long as possible to take advantage of the slacker water in the relative shallows. In the end the green team was victorious by a small margin from the orange team with the other two yachts following close behind.

The crews retired to the bar tired, exhilarated, bruised and battered but all smiling, some in triumph, some in relief perhaps. Despite the testing conditions nobody was injured and if anyone was scared, they kept their fears to themselves. It was a great day for novices and experienced sailors alike. Will you be there next year? You should be.

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