17th April 2019
Gosport in Hampshire was the location for an exhilarating weekend of sail racing for a Turn to Starboard team competing in the third Gill Sunsail Racing Series.
A fleet of 18 yachts set sail in strong winds and under an overcast sky for seven yacht races spread over two days (April 13 and 14). Turn to Starboard’s team consisted of five crew members who took to the water on board a Sunsail First 40 racing yacht to represent the charity.
The challenging weather conditions meant a strategic start at each race was vital for success, with Turn to Starboard skipper, Tristan, taking the sensible decision not to challenge the start line too aggressively at each contest. The experienced sailor’s judgement proved wise on the seventh race when five competitor yachts pushed over the line too early and were forced to restart.
With a slightly smaller team than usual, the decision was made not to fly the spinnaker – a large three-cornered sail set forward of a racing yacht, typically bulging when full. The judgement meant that while the crew could keep pace with other competitors during the ‘upwind’ legs, they were much slower when sailing ‘downwind’. Unfortunately, for some racers using spinnakers – also known as kites – meant challenges when the sails became twisted and torn in strong winds.
Throughout the exciting weekend, the crew learned a wide range of sailing and racing techniques while challenging themselves on the water. Overall, the Turn to Starboard crew achieved a respectable 14th place in the contest, with the team describing the event as “great fun”.
The Gill Sunsail Racing Series offers seven competitive weekends of thrilling yacht racing from March to November. Podium winners from each chapter automatically qualify for the Gill Sunsail Racing Series Final in November.
In partnership with the Endeavour Fund, Turn to Starboard offer the chance for Armed Forces personnel affected by military service to try the thrill and challenge of sail racing. No previous sailing experience is required and participants are invited to sail at various racing events throughout the year from our new office at Haslar Marina in Gosport, or enjoy general sail training from our base at Falmouth in Cornwall – the choice is yours!
For more information, contact Helen or Paul on 01326 314262 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.