Sailing. Me? Well I’ll give anything a go and I have always wanted to see if I really do have sea legs. So when they chance came to join Sue and Team Tigress for Grenada Race Week this year I jumped at it. And what an awesome experience.
I was blown away by the professionalism and experience of Sue. I’ve been on boats a fair bit but I’ve never had the chance to compete and I would definitely say I’m no expert. From the minute I arrived in the Caribbean – blinking into the warm bright blue sunshine of Grenada – from the dark and gloomy winter UK I was hooked.
Our crew of nine was a handpicked mix of professionals and novices. We all got stuck in prepping the 38 ft Reflex Sirens Tigress before embarking on a thorough safety briefing. Sue leaves nothing to chance and I felt totally at ease under her guidance. Everyone was assigned roles on the boat based on their ability before training started. My friend and I were the trim team and responsible for the foresail and spinnaker. Wow. A big learning curve and one we embraced. Two days later we were ready to race!
It was exhilarating to say the least. Grenada Race Week is a 4-day regatta with one lay day in the middle. To be part of a team – that grows and learns together is a fantastic feeling. Each day we would have between two and three races, against experienced sailors who know the waters well. Sue was teacher and tactician all rolled into one. And we did ourselves proud finishing 4th in racing class overall and achieving a podium place on day 4. A great way to finish the most amazing week.
I surprised myself and what I could do physically and mentally. And I also had the chance to meet some brilliant new people from all walks of life. Would I do it again? For sure. I’ve just signed up to race with Team Tigress at Cowes Week in August. Can’t wait.
Written by: Tara O’Driscoll