Racing into Sunday


By John Roberson 

What a way to spend a Sunday morning! Some people walk the dog on a Sunday morning, others wash the car, while the crew of CQS sailed through the straits of Messina. We entered the southern end of the straits at sunrise this morning, and had a beautiful fresh breeze all the way, as it funnelled between the mountains of mainland Italy, and those on the Sicilian side.

All the way it was a three way tussle between ourselves, Leopard and Momo, the distances between us expanding and contracting as if the three boats were attached by elastic. Often we were close enough to the shore to see the beautiful waterfront properties.

This race is known for its spectacular scenery, and we are starting to find out why.

It had been a strange night, with the wind dying as the sun set, and we had several hours of doing only two to three knots, close along the eastern shore of Sicily. At one stage we seemed to get our own private breeze, and it looked as if we might take the lead, but then the same windless hole that held Leopard and Rambler in its grip, stretch out and grabbed us as well.

Then in the small hours of the morning a fresh breeze sprang up, and we were blasting along at 11 to 12 knots, and had to take in a reef. The temperature was comfortable all night, and we shook out the reef as we entered the straits.

Now we seem set for another beautiful day, with Stromboli the volcano our next turning mark.