An update on the last few weeks.
The response I've been having to this project has been amazing. Friends and strangers are being enthusiastic and encouraging and going out of their way to help. Sponsors are believing in the project. The offers of support coming from Local Contacts is, quite frankly, humbling. I am really seeing the nice side of human nature. A big thank you to everybody.
Sad loss of Dennis London
My resolve to start and to finish my windsurf round Britain has been strengthened by the sad and premature loss of another beautiful human being to pancreatic cancer. Dennis was a lifelong family friend, and a family man with a love of sailing and the sea; a battler and every bit the sort of person you'd want with you on a striken ship. His memorial service was most touching - painfully sad, but also with a positive message about living life. Goodbye Dennis, and thank you.
Windsurf Round Britain is raising funds to help in the fight against pancreatic cancer. Please consider a donation.
Round Hayling Island Race
Easter Friday saw the Round Hayling race. I'd never 'done' this island before and it seemed like an ideal opportunity for some practice. Conditions were pretty light, and visibility pretty low. I am pleased (and ever so slightly relieved) to report that I made it round! My Round Britain kit isn't yet with me so I was sailing with older raceboard kit but I did test out my nice new Gul drysuit which was very comfortable (despite a lot of pumping I had no problems with cramp). The newer Tushingham XR sails (that I will be using for Windsurf Round Britain) dominated and I dropped from 3rd at the bridge to finish 6th at the line. Congratulation to habitual event winner Rob Kent, and first lady Annette Kent (5th) sailing with an 8.5 XR race and who certainly didn't seem to be hindered by carrying a metre less sail.
Easter weekend saw light winds and this got me thinking about becoming becalmed and about paddles. I'm pretty sure that being able to quickly and easily switch modes between sailing and paddling (and paddling and sailing) will be very useful. I did some testing and have decided I'll be taking a paddle of some sort. I'll refine ideas and do a proper post on this at a later date.
I'd never been buzzed by a drone before and then...guess what... 2 come along (nearly) together. The first one has some footage here (coming soon, thank you Olly). The second one came to check me out off Hengistbury head - I've no idea who was piloting.
YB Tracking have kindly agreed to supply me with a YB3 unit to track progress via GPS and transmit this through the Iridium Satellite network. This is great news for the expedition: being able to monitor progress in real-time is a huge plus in terms of information delivery, actual safety, and peace of mind. A massive thank you to YB Tracking.