Black Wednesday

August 7, 2014

Today really everything went wrong.

We were early on the water and we prepared ourselves for the race as usual by sailing a little bit, checking lay lines etc, but we may not have realized that we took it somewhat easier than on other days. Were we too confident?

Whatever was the case, I put in Expedition the starting marks in the wrong places i.e. the Committee Boat in the position of the pin-end, and visa versa.

Unlike our daily habits we did not check if the start line was depicted in the right manner.

Only one minute prior to the start I discovered that we were over the line -at least on my screen- so I had to go out in the cockpit to see that we were still on the correct side of the starting line.

Confusion and at that moment I did not realize that I could have easily swapped the two ends of the start line, just by pushing one button on the screen.

We started. According to Floris on the bow we were over the line when starting. According to my instruments we were 2,5 boat lengths away from the start line. No one knew what to do and finally it was decided to continue the race, in spite of the fact that STRAIT DEALER and KING LOUIE returned for a re-start.

After 15 minutes, during which I observed that my instruments I.e. B&G did not give correct information, I checked via internet the Cowes Week Results page and found that both ZARAFA and WINSOME were scored OCS [Other Course Side]. I wished I never did this. Call it my 2nd mistake. Then I consulted Boj and we decided to stop racing and declared the Race Committee RET [Retired].

Now I know that once you retire you loose all rights, even in case we would not have been over the line for a redress of our result.

We are still checking with the Jury if we were really over the line, but even If that was not the case there will be no change in our more than dramatic score as a result of my 3rd mistake [to retire].

When we arrived in the Medina we did see Sarai, Christine and Willem on the Island so I thought instantly of a conspiracy.

We all spent the rest of the day being seasick. In the evening we tried to enjoy the RORC Cocktail Party at the Squadron and we asked Carlo Vroon to take a picture of the entire seasick crew. He did and as a reward Sophie invited him and a his girlfriends duet to come us for dinner.


We debriefed “the race” and tried to cheer each other up.

ZARAFA continued racing not knowing of their OCS but one wonders who was the happier resp. unhappier of our two boats when looking at the results. Our 3rd is now lost, but if there will be a lay day, for instance if there is no wind at all one day, we are dead in the water and will have to face one of the worst results in the last ten years. If there will be no lay day than our damages are somewhat confined by ending in a range of 4-7th.

We are not happy. Big boys however do not cry, nor will Laura.

Will report again tomorrow.


Post by Harry Heijst | August 7, 2014 |


  1. Watching C.W. daily i was astonished abt “retired” when 3rd place was within reach by normal performances !!
    Anyhow done is done and cheer-up
    regards dick

    by dick van dort | 07 Aug 2014 | 08:32
  2. <> to all

    Angela x

    by Angela | 08 Aug 2014 | 12:09
  3. Harry,

    always of interest reading the C.W. news and you all will have good prospects for next year thanks to the recent experiences.

    the other Harry

    by Harry Swinkels | 10 Aug 2014 | 19:00