Oilskins and black-tie outfits packed, the Weightmans team can't wait for the race – so they can get to the parties in good time
Week 5: Off to Cowes
It's all systems go as the team prepares to leave dry land on Thursday, when the annual Little Britain regatta kicks off in Cowes. Daily checks on the BBC's weather forecast have promised a brilliant weekend with 15 knots of wind and fine, sunny weather – perfect sailing and socialising conditions! However, our mistrust of the weatherman means we'll be taking the precaution of placing oilskins aboard our yacht just in case the worst should happen. There's nothing more miserable than being out at sea in the rain and cold without the proper kit, so we're determined to be prepared for all eventualities.
There's nothing more miserable than being out at sea in the rain and cold without the proper kit, so we're determined to be prepared for all eventualities
That said, we have already been knocked off course last week with the news that a member of our crew can no longer make the regatta. Luckily for us, another victim … oops, I mean volunteer, Mark has filled the breach. The only potential snag is that his wife is expecting a baby any day now so we're hoping that we don't have to arrange an emergency evacuation for him in the middle of a race.
On Thursday, we'll be heading across to the Isle of Wight on the ferry before slipping into the snazzy branded crew clothing that should be waiting for us there (cue hours of posing in various sailor stances). We're then planning to head straight down to the yacht haven to meet our boat owner's representative and get in a cheeky hour's practice before the first race, which starts at 2pm. The bar opens at 4pm so there's a good incentive to get around the course quickly!
Snazzy branded crew clothing should be waiting for us at Cowes (cue hours of posing in various sailor stances)
There's no chance to swot up on the course beforehand as it's only called out shortly before the race starts. This is where Quentin's navigation skills will be crucial to our success. So no pressure there then, Quentin.
Apart from the racing, we've got quite a few social events planned as well. Thursday night we're taking a trip to the beloved Folly's Inn for dinner; while Friday night will see the team join a set of barristers' chambers for drinks (so we can technically call it work) before heading off to a great place called Hot Rocks in Yarmouth. The food here is excellent, even though you have to cook it yourself – on a hot rock!
To finish off on Saturday evening, we'll be attending the gala dinner, although there are already a few grumblings among the team about the dress code: black tie or “smart yachting” apparently. Now, what on earth does that mean?