Rally Portugal 2012… a postscript..

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The Rally made a big impression on us.

It was of course partly the obvious. We had achieved a great ambition of crossing Biscay. Ok it wasn’t a F8 gale but neither was it a stroll in the park. We had kept watch day and night for almost 5 days non–stop. We had sailed our yacht, kept it and ourselves safe, navigated, fixed stuff that broke, cooked, laughed, taken snaps, seen dolphins, seen the phosphorescence in the surf, marvelled at the night sky and shown respect to the huge Atlantic swell.

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But it was more than that. As the WCC organisers left Lagos, and the crews started to make their plans for their onward journeys it started to dawn on every one how much we would miss each other. I had been a Grinch before the Rally. Not for me the forced jollity of club life. Why would I need other people? I wanted to do Biscay on my own terms – just Jaz and I.

What happened though was that we had learned so much from others. The watch rota from Ailsa, the seamanship of Katrina, the humour of Scarlet Lady, the fortitude of Usquabae, the friendship of Plane Magic, and even how to sail a Moody 44 from Seraphina.

RP12 Slideshow (289)We had learned what people could dream to do with their life – and that there is indeed life after 60. Yes, those with children and grand children missed them and were torn. The ambition to explore and live their life to the full was creating distance between them and their loved ones. For many the finances had been juggled and fine tuned to enable the purchase of a boat and the opportunity to sail. Yet others had overcome serious illness or were living with the threat of serious illness, but still finding the strength to sail.

Rally Portugal 2012 certainly delivered what it said on the tin, and then some more that you won’t even find in the small print.

It was a privilege to meet these people and I salute them.

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The trials and the tribulations… Skippers briefing, looks like a Pink Floyd concert…
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4 people celebrated their 60th birthdays during the Rally… Serious sailor talk….otherwise known as ….

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