The Scribbler

24 April 2006

Another new thrill

Filed under: sailing — The Scribbler @ 19:42

I watched my first sailing competition this weekend. To be honest, I probably spent as much time trying to work out what was going on as I did enjoying the spectacle of Mustoe skiffs and catamarans racing on Kielder water, but it was a great experience.

Musto Skiff racing in the Kielder Open, April 2006If you've never seen a sailing race, it really is quite exhilarating, especially the start. You see, the start line is a virtual line between the official's boat and a buoy or marker on the water. The crews aim to get their boats across the line the second the starting hooter sounds. But you can't just line up a series of sailing boats and bring them to a stop. So as the time to start gets nearer, the crews all approach the line, jostling for position. We had a great view from the start boat.

Some of our teams were very eager to get going and we could see them crowding towards the start with 40 seconds to go, like a gaggle of over excited ducklings tumbling over each other in a race to be first into the water. Needless to say there were a few false starts!

RS200 on the water at KielderIt was a pretty spectacular sight to see all the boats lining up with their sails full and then to watch as they sped around the course. I really enjoyed watching the crews who use their body weight and position to steer, balancing out on trapeze style wires, leaning out horizontally, backs flat just inches above the water. That really appealed to my inner adrenaline junkie!

We've signed up to do a sailing course this summer, so hopefully we'll be able to take ourselves out on the water safely, but I doubt we'll be doing anything quite so acrobatic! I'm really looking forward to the combination of tactics and agility and learning yet another new skill.

We've been to the sailing club at Kielder a couple of times now, and everyone has been really friendly and helpful. I lost count of the number of times someone offered to sell us a boat. Now all I'm hoping for is some good weather…



  1. There’s some great photos from the event at


    Comment by Gary — 24 April 2006 @ 23:17 | Reply

  2. Michelle – thanks to both yourself and Gary for some wonderful help at the weekend. We are all so glad you enjoyed the event and that it has made your thirst for sailing grow. We are all looking forward to helping you get on the water and help you get into our wonderful sport.


    Comment by Steve — 27 April 2006 @ 10:56 | Reply

  3. Michelle – could we use your article in our next newsletter as it gives a wonderful view of the event from a total beginner’s perspective and is also very readable.


    Comment by Steve — 27 April 2006 @ 11:11 | Reply

  4. Delighted that you enjoyed the day – your help was certainly appreciated!

    Sure it takes time at the begining but you could find yourself on the end of a trapeze wire surprisingly soon. Could even be this year!


    Comment by Viola — 27 April 2006 @ 11:14 | Reply

  5. I’m glad you enjoyed the day. It was pretty special and starting those races definitely had my adrenalin going! Your help and Gary’s was absolutely crucial. Looking forward to seeing you both in a sailing boat..


    Comment by Mike — 27 April 2006 @ 11:26 | Reply

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