Saturday, 16 August 2008
When the water in the UK is just too green to go diving (which is about 360 days of the year!!) there is only one thing you can do....go and get some yacht action. Cowes is a lively little town made explosive with the annual arrival of this massive sailing event. Many classes of craft are there in force, and the shoreside entertainment is not short thrift. But hey, too much time in cold water has seen the end of my dancing days, or maybe I've just become too serious in my not so old age.
Anyway, what draws me to Cowes is not the party scene, but the chance to get some fantastic images of some magnificent craft, being plied by their magnificent crafstmen sailors. There's not much more exilharating (apart from sharks!) than watching a few tonnes of hull being wrenched over towards the boiling murk by many square yards of sail, with a lot of creaking ang groaning, louder than the slap of heavy wave against the port side. No thats not my joints creaking, it's all that superb maritime engineering pitting itself against mother nature and all that a mildly disappointing light August breeze can throw at it. The subtle scent of the broiling Solent, the misty salt air and the creaking and groaning of the worlds finest watercraft are enough to send me on a high, and chasing them about in a RIB trying to get some images that sum the magic up is a challenge that I shall not soon be bored of, at least whilst the sea close to where I live refuses to give up it's underwater secrets.
Pictured is an Extreme 40, probably the most exciting craft on the water today, an absolute thrill to watch and something of an addiction, leaving me hankering for the next time I can see them in full swing.