Tuesday, 14 December 2010

From my Library .... My first 'pap' shot?

Overall Race Winner IDEC

I am sailing - NOT!  Now don't get me wrong - I don't have any problem at all with anyone who wants to play with sticks and rags and zig zag in peacetime!  But give me a big outboard motor any day of the week (and twice at the weekend!).

I am not a sailor - you'd never guess - but I do like messing about on the water, usually in my RHIB 'Darwin' (Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boat - you know, bit like one of those lifeboat things with tubes, only with a lot more style).  But I do enjoy seeing those sailing types mess about at the annual J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race which circumnavigates the Isle of Wight (about 55 miles all the way round).  But while it takes them anything between 4 hrs 24minutes 5seconds (fastest in 2010) and over 10 hours, I will do it in, well, about 2 hours if I stop to take some photos!

Leading boats approach the finish line
This year was a bit more exciting than usual, though I didn't realise it until I got home.  It was a very early race start due to the tides so by the time I'd motored down from Southampton, the first boats were heading towards the finishing line outside Cowes.  I tracked eventual overall winner, IDEC, and the following two boats Oman Sail and The Wave Muscat as they headed towards the line.

Seeing the race was all but over, and the following boats unlikely to catch the leader, I turned 'against the traffic' and set course for Bembridge to get some photos as the boats rounded the buoy.

'Bob' and 'Team Volvo' vie for position
As soon as I got there a couple of boats obliged by trying to undercut each other and gain a few yards (or should that be cables?), 'Bob' and 'Team Volvo'.  Looking for a bit more than just 'big boat shots with a nice background' I closed in for a run alongside Bob to get close ups of the crew sitting with legs over the side.  I got a few funny looks, but then sailing-types always seem to give us powerboaters funny looks, so I thought nothing of it.  It wasn't until I got home and caught the news that then BP Boss Tony Hayward, at the height of the Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon oil spill, had spent the day at the Round the Island Race - guess which boat he was on?  Bob!

A quick scan of my photos showed yes - there he was!  So, a bit late to make the papers but I think I can call this my first paparazzi photo!!
Tony Hayward (2nd from left) - or is it?!!

Later it was disputed that he was actually on the boat.
But I know, cause I was there!