It felt strange flying into HK after spending 6years away. From the air nothing had changed, you could still spot all the old haunts of way back when!
First thing first though was to find a sim card to work out where the boat was and what it was doing. It turned out they had already taken her for a spin and I was instructed to meet them at the yacht club. Thankfully nothing had changed on the public transport side of things (and the old Oyster card still worked!!) so made quick progress, arriving to see them sail into the harbour.
The new boat looked incredible! Everything had been carefully thought through, even things as simple as where you hung your kit up! Still, as with anything to do with boats, there was a sizeable amount to do in the short space of time before the regatta the following weekend. The most important of which, the safety and radios unfortunately dragged out through inexperience and just not knowing the status of all the equipment needed. A job that was meant to take a couple of days ended up taking right up until the Vietnam race which I can tell you wasn’t pleasant to be on the receiving end of.
Of course whilst all the boat prep was going on the crew had to learn more about how to sail the thing… The special thing about HK is that you can have everything from 0 to 25 knots all in the space of a day or two. For the first few days we had perfect training weather to take the boat out for a quick spin to fine tune the lock system and the sail plan. Then, as the crew gathered, the wind started to pick up wiping off the the weekend due to the Typhoon T3 signal being up. Never the less, not an entire waste as it meant we could get the rig re-adjusted.
Things went much better on Monday and by Tuesday we had a plan of action to get the training dialled in in the short space of time remaining. On Tuesday things went quickly downhill for me as one moment I was fit and heathy, the next my knee felt like it had exploded. More on this in another post, but suffice to say we thought it was something minor and I’d be back bouncing by the weekend.
Little were we to know that that was the last time sailing for a good long time…