Although Hazel is a novice sailor, she has all the enthusiasm required to be a crew member in the Marine Industry Regatta…although lacks much experience on the water. However, as weather reports warned of Force 6 winds and waves in the Solent, she admits to being “a little bit nervous” as the race commenced. In order not to “get in the way” Hazel felt happy to lodge herself behind the Skipper, Nick Hopwood, while also learning to scramble back and forth across the boat looking for lines to grab onto, as seas and sails lifted the boat to and fro during tacks and jibes. She admits to growing more confident as time went on.
However, when two boats broached in front of the vessel causing an emergency turn of the wheel and the spinnaker to flail, Rob was, “brilliant at keeping one hand on the wheel and catching me by the harness of my lifejacket as I slipped across deck toward the open end of the boat which would have taken me into the sea!” As soon as Hazel was able to find something to hold onto – Rob and the rest of the seasoned sailors on board brought the boat under control. “I suppose if I had the chance to get off the boat then – I would have”, she says, but instead the crew were off to the last race which was exhilarating! In the end, Hazel says, “Thank you for such an amazing experience, it really was a very special day in my life and I feel privileged to have spent it on board with the fine crew assembled by British Marine….I’ll be back next year!”