Well, at least Barton Marine’s crew for the Marine Industry Regatta did not have to embarrass our colleagues on other boats by waving the trophy at Prize Giving! In fact, no one could mount the stage and accept the trophy because the race was abandoned after five hours of bobbing around in The Solent with absolutely no breath of wind – while enduring a deluge of constant rain!
Weeks of planning including strategy conference calls with crew members and race organisers, overnight stays on the boat, safety briefs and equipment repairs were washed into the tides as crew members sat on their yachts awaiting any sign that Mother Nature would have pity on us and provide a gentle breeze so that sails could go up. Surely the weather report would be wrong? (It always is…) But for once it was spot on and we had no wind on the day.
The soggy Barton crew included staff members Dermot Bealey, Rob Lyne, Hazel Morris and David Hawkins. Colleagues joining us included Alice Driscoll and husband Johnny Allen representing ADPR, David Barrow of Barrow International, Chris Feibusch from Drew Marine Signal & Safety, Paralympic Sailing Club Coach Matt Grier from MG Marine, Katina Read from Boating Business, and Yachtsmaster Kim Foster.
Following hours of windless rain and loss of visibility, the race was finally called to a halt by judges and drenched crews motored back to dock. After warming up and drying off in the Club House, the marine crowd was in good form for the following BBQ dinner, with a few speeches by race organisers and charity representatives.
Most importantly, the companies taking part raised a nice little bounty of money for the John Merrick Sailing Trust, http://www.jmst.org.uk/ and the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, http://andrewsimpsonfoundation.org/. Both are great causes that support young people who display drive, talent and commitment to sailing, while giving thousands of kids opportunities to enjoy the life-changing challenges that sailing offers.