|POLICE SPORT UK at
Skandia Cowes Week, 2005
The winner of the Police Sport UK National Offshore Sailing Championships, 2004 was selected to represent the British Police at Cowes Week the following year.
Nottinghamshire Police representing the British Police at Skandia Cowes Week 2005.
Pete Walters (Skipper) HQ DM SCR
John Neaverson (Navigator) Retired Supt.
Rick Priestley (Winches) OS Roads Policing
Simon Judge (Winches) OS Force Support
Mark Bush (Mainsheet Trimmer) OS Force Support
Helen Neaverson (Mast/Bow) FDC OP Ogham
Paul Pilsworth (Mast/Bow) Ranskill Beat Manager.
Over 1000 yachts took part with approx 8,000 sailors. Several starts were
arranged for different classes of yachts.
A team of 7 officers took part in the above event which ran from the Saturday 30th July until Friday 5th August, '05.
We were in the largest class of One Design yachts for the event, Sunfast 37 chartered to us by Sunsail. A minimum of 54 boats on the start line for each race. We were scheduled to race 7 days with 1 race per day. Each race being between 11 and 20 miles in length taking between 3 and 4 hours to complete dependant on wind strength.
The boat was collected on Friday the 29th from Sunsail at Port
Solent but was not quite what one was expecting, after numerous phone calls and
negotiation we took the boat offered across the Solent towards Cowes, half way
over the engine developed a fault and we just managed to limp into Cowes Yacht
Sunsail engineers worked on the boat for most of the night.
We continued to have discussions with Sunsail re the boat supplied, at 11.40 am we were suddenly offered another boat that was at the yacht Haven with another team onboard, as we were due to start the 1st race within 40 minutes the change over must have been the quickest of all time.
We managed to get to the start line and competed in the race finishing 2nd over the line, other competitors however informed us that we had gone inside 2 marks that were out of bounds and therefore we had to retire from the race, this gave us 52 points to count. We put this lack of knowledge down to the fact we had not had time to fully read the racing instructions.
Sunday was a hard fought affair we managed to finish 3rd.
Monday was abandoned due to lack of wind.
Tuesday was quite windy, with all the team pulling together we overtook the top half of the fleet and by the end finished over 3 minutes ahead of the next yacht. This was after the lead yacht, half way through the race, had to retire as one of his crew had a heart attack, air sea rescue were called and air lifted the chap off.
Wednesday again saw us finish in the lead but with a smaller margin.
Thursday started in light wind conditions and continued to increase as the day went on. Two fleets became mixed upand rounding the marks took high levels of concentration. We managed to go around the course without hitting anybody or anything. However, two boats near to us collided, one of the crew ending up loosing her fingers as she was trapped between the two yachts. We managed to finish 2nd.
Due to our good results after the first day we were climbing the leader board. Once we had completed 6 races we could then discard our worst result (52 points).
Assuming we sailed on the last day and we had the discard we were 2 points ahead
of the next yacht and a further 2 points ahead of the 3rd placed yacht.
Therefore the last race was important.
Friday. It was quite windy and the first start was recalled due to the number of boats over the start line. Unfortunately that was our best start, the restart was our worst of the week. At the first mark we were lying about 25th position.
We moved through the fleet to be in 10th by the 2nd mark and 9th by the 3rd mark. Things were looking good until the wind shifted, we lost a further 2 places but between the 4th and 5th marks overtook 4 boats. We were lying 5th at this point we were ahead of one of our main competitors but the other was leading the race.
We had a minor problem with the spinnaker at mark 6 and ended up losing 2
places. We had the last leg to make up places but failed to do so and finished
over the line in 7th place.
It appears one of the other skippers forgot to sign off who had finished in front of us and lost their position giving us 6th place.
At the prize giving we were awarded 2nd place overall, 1 point behind the team that beat us, who had been laying in 3rd place before the race started. They won the last race by over 9 minutes.
The event was well run with the British
Police team being pitted against professional
skippers and crews, we believe we gave a good account of ourselves but are
obviously disappointed as to coming so close to winning the event overall.
A mark is a Buoy or channel marker that are used to turn around. We had a list of 99 marks supplied with the sailing instructions. The marks that were due to be used for that race given to us by radio, 10 minutes prior to the start of the race for that day with instructions as to which way to go around each mark
Skipper, Sunfast 37, Number 29.
Skandia Cowes Week, 2005 Class:- Sunsail 37 - 6 races, 5 to count
|Pos||Boat Name||Sat||Sun||Tue||Wed||Thu||Fri||Total||Best 5|