The Sisterhood

Charity and sisterhood

Sailing

This years Sisterhood Cowes Week Yacht Racing campaign is being Skippered by verteran Sisterhood member Susan Glenny. Susan had a 12 year career in corporate marketing which she recently left to become a full time professional sailor. She is a commercially endorded Yachtmaster and RYA Cruising Instructor and she was key crew memebr on the winning boat in the 2010 PHS Sydney to Hobart. She took part in the 2011 Fastnet Offshore Race and has been a regular at Cowes for the past few years.

Susan and hood trainer jonny sayle have put together a tough training programme for their fellow Sisterhood buddies to ensure a solid Class performance at Cowes from this relatively novice buch of sailors.

Susan says

“High performance yacht racing is the ultimate true team sport, it requires eveyone to do their own unique job on the boat perfectly, in sequence and at the correct time! Whilst alot of the girls havn’t sailed before they are highly intelligent, fit, team players and always up for competing and I beleive this is something that they will perform well in.”

We will be updating you on the girls progress for Cowes week but in the meantime read one of Suey’s blog from the middle night on her 5 day Sydney to Hobart Campiagn. The conditions really sounded quite something! On the Sydney to Hobart Suey saw 50knts of wind at some stages. Last year conditions at Cowes on some days saw 36Knts of Wind!!!!………. Hang-on Girrrrrls!!!!

Read one of Susan’s Blogs from mid voyacge during the 2010 Sydney to Hobart Race.

“We came up on our watch at 2100 and we still had the kite up and the wind was gusting at 30knts. The boat was surfing at 14 knts down all of the waves and you could see the concern and concentration on Andy and Neil’s faces who were taking turns on the helm. One mistake at those speed and a really serious broach could occur. The darkness had set in and there had been much deliberation at the watch change over as to weather to leave the kite up. It was left up but an emergency action plan was put in place to get the other watch up on deck to help get the kite down if we lost control. We clipped on and sat in the cot pit watching the white crests on the waves disapear rapidly behind us. If you were to go over board in these conditions the boat would be out of site of you within seconds and by the time the boat could blow the kite, slow down, turn round and get back to you in the dark it would be a miracle to be picked up. Even if you set your personal life beacon off, in the middle of the Bass Straight you are out of range of helicopter rescue. The answer is that you just DO NOT go over board- end of story.

So on with the kite run, Andy stayed on the wheel with the kite up and things started to get twitchy, we had a mini broach which we recovered from but five minutes later we broached badly and we couldn’t recover it. We hung on for our lives as the full area of the mainsail dragged through the water and the mast lay almso 90 degress to the wave surface. Neil called for all on deck. The next few minutes were a total example of team work in a critical situation. Everyone was primed, out of bed and acted brilliantly. We blew the kite and gathered it into the cabin. We decided to go with a poled out no.3 head sail instead. Both watches helped to set this up in the dark and when this was done we commenced the watch again still trucking along more safely now at 12 knts. In fact the poled out head sail was amazing. Both watched over night were battling position for the fastest surf. John clocked 17.3 knts followed by a “yeha Jesters dead” shouted from the cockpit but sadly his celebration was a tad early with Andy  H clocking a record 20knts on the first watch of the morning!!!! Unbeleivable!!