but they qualified as Tall Ships, so we didn't sail together. To make the day more fun, I took on board another junkie, Marcus, whose 8ft Pugwash is too small to join in.
Fantail and Dolphin of Leith
We came in 52nd out of 54, but did a lot better on handicap - 19th. I was very pleased with my little ship, but in all truth, even more pleased with our generous handicap!! Shoestring and Zebedee were way behind us, having made the mistake of going to leeward of the cruise ship and getting stuck there, so Fantail also had the satisfaction of soundly beating her big sisters. Roger and Alan generously complimented me on my tactical abilities, but I have to confess it was largely luck. The nice thing was that the boat ahead of us crossed the line 20 minutes before we did, which meant that my late start had made no difference to the end result.
One of the things that I appreciated, and that a lot of other participants commented on and enjoyed, is the fact that the Tall Ships Regatta is about the boats and the people. It's a way of bringing together lots of interesting boats to provide a spectacle both from ashore and on the water (there are many good lookout points in and around Russell), while everyone sails around having fun. In a time where everything's value depends solely on the 'bottom line', it was refreshing to be at an event apparently run for the sake of the participants rather than to make money. Indeed, I'm sure that if the RBC tried to make the Tall Ships Regatta into a money-making event, they would find they had killed the goose that lays the golden egg. For those who know of it, the Tall Ships Regatta reminds me of the Dourarnenez festival, an event for the boats and the sailors that incidentally brings money into the town, rather than being held for the money and incidentally bringing in the boats. I can understand why people join in year after year.