As we get into our stride with winter servicing of sails and covers and manufacturing new sails ready for the 2024 season, a brief post of some of the sailing / events I got to in 2023.
Last season saw a different style of sailing for me, mostly time in a small boat sailing / teaching my two kids to sail, a back to basics or back to the the floor experience! Plus, the annual family excursion to Cowes week to race with my brother and sister in law in the Victory Class one design (based in Portsmouth). This is the focal point for the competitive sailing part of me (and the other Scammells!). The boat is polished, tuned and then….and then…and then, some other sailors turn up with polished and tuned boats and we bang around the solent trying to win / catch up / not make mistakes. This year Z74 put the pedal down and were nearly unbeatable, winning the week. Team Scammell on Z69 took the last podium place and first woodie, not bad, but we probably feel like we missed a beat. 2024 sees a new Z (plastic) weapon and farewell to Z69 Zinnia, our first Cowes week winners pony…onwards and upwards. (you can read the race reports for Cowes week on the victory class one design website or search them out on facebook).
Next came the Firefly Nationals, having two small kids eager to sail, meant the purchase of a ‘banger’ Firefly in 2022. The 2023 season took off with a first race bullet (much to our surprise!) we were getting the hang of our firefly. The Firefly fleet arrived for the nationals and so did the wind! The first 3 days averaged a minimum of 20 knots! We pulled the shroud through the side deck of the boat, so an evening learning to use epoxy and plexus in large quantities (thanks team Mckee) to get the boat back on the race course. We had a great week with 63 other fireflies, a 6th place in the Marlow was my highlight. Henry’s highlight was probably coming in over the bar, wind over tide with 20knots of breeze (more like surfing Hawaii).
“wahoo!!” from the bow.
”holy cow!” from the helm.
A great week, loads of old friends, and great racing.
On the sail-making side, we have had a great year with some interesting projects involving our our technical partners at Smar-Azure using their CFD to help with our sail designs for a few IRC yachts and also for some dinghy designs.
Some of our sails have made the artic circle, some have made landfall in the Caribbean, some have raced and won, some have cruised up and down the river. Wherever you have been, i thank you for your support and custom, I hope you have a Merry Christmas and may 2024 bring us fair winds and following seas.
“Reflect upon your present blessings—of which every man has many—not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”