I was lucky enough to have Monday off, so there was an opportunity to get on the water together as a family, in our 2000, Zoomy. I love the fact that as well as now being firmly established as the Sargent Family’s double (and sometimes triple) handed race boat, the 2000 is also a boat that we can use for a family sail, all four of us together.
We had a SSWerly F4, gusting F5 occasionally, and a weak ebb running, so what to wear was going to be critical, given that neither Gwen at 9, or Johnny at 7, have much thermal resilience. We have inherited a dry-suit so we wrapped Johnny up in his Rooster Gear in that. Polypro
, with an extra gilet, took care of his core. For the hands we tried Polypro gloves
under normal sailing gloves. What a difference – the kids never once complained about cold hands even on a long beat when they were spray wet.
But what about Gwen. Her usual combination of wetsuit, Polypro Top
wasn’t going to be enough. So Clare lent out her Polypro legs
and her Supertherm top
. Both were a little long for Gwen, but they filled the space under the wetsuit with proper technical clothing and Gwen felt great. Both kids had Aquafleece neck gaiters
and Polypro headbands
on. They just love the snuggly feel and Gwen says they look cool too.
Of course Clare missed her Supertherm
terribly, but she had enough warmth with Hot legs
and Thermaflex Longjohn
, Polypro Top
, hikers over the top, that she achieved her key aim of being just slightly colder than the kids. And I was toasty in my standard winter wear of Polypro
, Raceskin (If you’re reading Clare and the kids the latter is just beginning to wear out and a Thermaflex
to replace it would be lovely - Easter present?).
But I think Clare is really looking forward to the Dinghy Show and getting to try the range on the kids. They’re definitely a bit bigger now, and the Rooster gear is available in more Junior sizes, so we’ll have to see how they get on. Then they can stop borrowing hers! We’ve got our eyes on the Pro Aquafleece Lite
And what of the sail. It didn’t disappoint. The harbour we sailed into was practically empty. Always better to go uptide first, so we set off for Bosham. We spotted three or four dinghies training off Hayling, and then some instructor training in Picos going on at Cobnor. That was it! We all enjoy the look on sailor’s faces in conditions like that when they realise there are four on board, and two of them are pretty small. The kids showed Mummy the racing skills they had learnt and hoisted, dropped and trimmed the kite all the way (less for a little tricky bit in a header) – the glove solution clearly worked. Clare could therefore keep us happy with Jaffa Cakes, sweets and hot squash. We spent a lot of the beat back talking about tide and tactics: the kids are beginning to get it. That and watching the numerous cormorants disappear as we approached. When we got ashore Johnny told us, ‘That might have been the best sail ever!’
Matt Sargent, Zoomy