Nearly there....

Last day of preparations before the Round the Island Race has included a lot of work.... left London at 0630, down to Gosport, took boat to boatyard for lift out and scrub. Went past neighbouring mooring holders doing it for themselves on the piles at Hardway. Made mental note that paying the £120 for a crane and high pressure hose was more than worth the money.

Every time we tied up today it poured with rain. Everytime it poured the wind howled round us. Most impressive moment was young guy on a neighbouring boat jumping straight over the guardrails (hands free) to take our ropes as we went into Haslar.

Spent the afternoon fitting a new cleat, changing the mainsheet traveller, stowing food and kit... and wondering how I wlll find the energy to sail to Beaulieu tomorrow and then round the island the next day. Roll on Sunday 26th!

I hear there is a record entry of 1908 boats this year, just a few to dodge. Forecast for Saturday seems to predict strong winds at the start (F5, we can cope with that) and decreasing later in the day. Unfortunately our ideal weather is around F2-3 so that a light boat like a Trapper 300 can scoot past the bigger, heavier boats. Doesn't look like that will be the case this year, but glad we're not expecting the F8s and above of earlier this week.

Crew expected at the boat early tomorrow morning and meanwhile we've realised we don't have a red protest flag.... not expecting to use it but it's in the rules. We're now constructing a home spun red protest flag with some cloth, a red and white pennant and a needle and thread. I think this is in keeping with the spirit of the Round the Island Race.

Good news on the fundraising front, we've raised more than £400 thanks to the generosity of friends and family. Thank you all for your donations, and we hope to make the target of £1000 before the weekend is out.

Rachel Hedley, 23.06.2011 | More from Rachel Hedley’s blog