Good things come in threes (More…)

11 Jul Good things come in threes (More…)

When I was a kid, for some reason, I always had an affinity for the number 3. I was told it was a “natural” number. I could divide it into, 6, 9, 12, 15 —–. To me it was a nice, easy number.

A friend of mine had a ménage a trios – threesome. I was young at the time, about 19, living and working on boats in the Caribbean. I remember all of us nippers’ being both in awe and at the same time a bit jealous, wondering why he should have all the luck. The situation wasn’t helped by the fact that my mate also had the most beautiful 80 foot topsail schooner, which he and his two companions sailed en famille. Mind you, even then we had some doubts, that for various nefarious reasons, his position it might not always have be “plain sailing”

I saw them at the start of one Guadeloupe Race. My friend at the wheel, puffing away on a joint, while his two “wifelets” laboured in the rigging, 60 ft. above the deck, precariously setting the topsails. The crew wore macramé bikini bottoms which all of the girls used to make themselves then. Tres petit! I remember thinking, one day that will be me, that will definitely be me – driving a classic schooner that is.

As we guessed, these things are never quite as simple as they look. Story has it, that one of the wifelets “dropped” a wrench while working up aloft. It just happened to hit her oppo on the side of the head. My Aussie friends, would say she was, “spannered”. Things were never the same after that and they subsequently “split tacks”.

We took possession of our new boat on Thursday, Concise 10. She is a 70 foot trimaran – three hulls. It’s really fast. Fun and frightening in almost equal measures but far from easy. At sea in any decent sort of a breeze she is a dream, docking her however is a nightmare. Concise’s rotating mast makes her want to sail, even when you are trying to tie her up. We are having to develop new procedures, rapidly. Before we arrive or leave any dock now, we position two ribs to spin her round or hold her off. A logistical nightmare when we are constantly on the move from place, country to country.

Is it worth it? Well yesterday, just hours’ after we completed the purchase, we had the first race under our own “banner”. We joined over 130 other yachts’ in the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s, Cowes Dinard Race. Ned Collier Wakefield, with Navigator Wouter Webraak at his side crossed the start line bang on time and reached out of the Solent in a 15 knot breeze headed for France . We were lucky! Following them on our satellite tracker I could see that conditions were kind to them for their first outing. This was important as crew members Andy Meiklejohn, Jonny Malbon, Martin Watts, Tom Dawson and Jackson Boutell are on a big learning curve with the boat. Nevertheless, there was enough wind help us safely hit speeds of up to 28knts which is well within our comfort zone.

This morning at 6am I got a call from Ned. They were back, just about to dock at our new base at Hamble Point Marina. The “push me, pull me boats”, were on their way to help him come along side. But he couldn’t wait to confirm we had taken line honours and won the multi hull division as well as breaking the outright course record. We had won three trophies. As you can well imagine, I still like the number 3.

Tony Lawson

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