check and double check



Its a good larf, this cruising!! and also racing, last weekend brought the annual regatta, to our esteemed anchorage in Milford haven, nameley the infamous Angle Regatta.

Check check check!! of course before racing one has checked all that needs to be done, No 1 jib ready to hoist, main ready to hoist, course all sorted, entry paid and an inspection of all the other boats racing, classy ones at that, all class one racers crew donned in matching gear(Musto, Helly ,Gill etc) armed with cricket boxes ready to cock the proverbial leg over the side when beating , all twelve of them!!

Morrigh a thirty year old recently refurbished Westerly 30 , was certainly not in that class, but we had a good chance of leading the field in the division three yachts, so we thought.

20 mins before the start, we dropped the deep water mooring to up sail and practice the start! crewed by myself , my first mate and a visitor who is a keen yachtsman but unfortunately his boat was not afloat in time for the race.

My mate and crew hoist the No1 jib with the crew putting more than enough pressure on the winch, now having already been out for a sail that morning in a moderate wind no problems, however the wind was now easterly 6-7, anyway to cut a long story short the eye in the head of the No1 jib parted and down it came.

Resulting in the loss of 1 halyard to the top of the mast, no spare halyard!! 2 minutes later whilst deciding to use the topping lift as a temp halyard down came the main, the main had been hoisted on the topping lift resulting in the block at the top of the mast parting with unforseen pressure on it.

So no main, no jib, no race retire to inner mooring and enjoy rest of the regatta from the pub, maybe thinkink it was just as well it happened at the start and not during the race. I take my hat off the racey boys in the matching duds and the crispy sails, they looked absolutely tremendous, screaming in on a reach through the finish line getting the magic hooter.

Conclusion!! check rigging and sails regularly, the main should not have been on the topping lift, the No 1 jib should have been scrapped a long time ago, the penalty for me was to have to go up the mast 35ft at 0830 the next morning to retrieve jib halyard and replace topping lift block with the most almighty hangover!!! Lesson Learnt.