What A Week To Give Up Drinking
29 May 2018
A good few years ago now, early one morning we joined a dawn mass exit from a wild anchorage in the Canaries, when we, along with a dozen others woke to find our pleasant little cove of the night before had turned into a raging, white capped, lee shore.
One by one we picked up our anchors and headed around to the neighbouring sheltered anchorage. At the time, as an ex catamaran sailor, I was conscious there was a two hulled job waiting on us to leave before picking up his anchor. I didn't think too much about it until ten minutes later, when, under genoa, this guy went flying past at twelve knots. "Outremer - FAST CATS" read the strap line on his hull. And that line was filed away somewhere in the depths of my brain where it muddled around aimlessly waiting for one of those passages when three to four knots seemed painfully slow.
I started digging the hole off the coast of Norway back in 2013. It was a bright sunny day and we were making our way south in a gentle westerly making three to four knots. It must have been a trigger point as next wifi spot I Googled "Outremer - FAST CATS." WHOOSH. Right up, came a video of Obedient, an Outremer 45 doing sixteen knots up the Sound of Jura, spray flying from the lee bow like a fire hose.
A little detective work led me to the owner and, ignoring the rule of when you're, in a hole, stop digging, we ended up in Stranraer in south west Scotland on a bright winters day in November 2013. "Let's go for a sail" says Gordon. "It's blowing thirty five knots out there" says I.
Dig, dig, dig. Ten minutes later we are flying up Loch Ryan doing an effortless ten to twelve knots. Since then, as we've sailed around the first half of the world it seems that at every turn an Outremer comes around the corner. Season before last I had to listen to Russell on Tika on the morning Net reporting their easy twelve knots in his Outremer 55. Last year in New Zealand, out paddling in Abel Tasman, in the middle of nowhere, stumbling across Moby. On our bike tour of the South Island, finding Lucia in an out of the way fishing port, then Fiuu appearing in our tiny atoll anchorage in Fiji and finally, last month, Alidade lying at anchor below us as we hiked around the cliffs of Sydney Heads.
These were signs!!
Probably signs to stop digging right enough but a man's gotta do....
And, so, this weekend we found ourselves at the Outremer Cup in the south of France, trying hard but failing, not to appear like the gendarme in Allo Allo, trying to eat our body weight in Outremer sponsored oysters and champagne cocktails. Twenty four of these beauties have shown up for the event, Outremers, not Oysters, and we've been racing around the Mediterranean, on azure blue seas, on boats the size of tennis courts, sailing faster than the wind and flying hundreds of square metres of very expensive sailcloth. I'm in heaven!
And in a bit of a dither!!!!!
Just how far do I dig?
Video following for any interested parties......