The handover at Port Solent was late and chaotic. The boats had just come in from the weekend events and it was eight o'clock on Sunday before we were on board and had checked the inventory. We did the formal handover on Monday morning and were in the lock fairly promptly. When the lock was opened we couldn't get out because a big dredger and its even larger barge were sitting in the way, looking big and rusty, and hard. When we were eventually given the go-ahead to squeeze by we ran aground in the mud. The guys operating the lock told us to hand on while they released a tidal wave to power us off the mud and on our way. This worked brilliantly and finally we were off.
The wind was light and fairly fickle for our practise day but this suited us well as this was only the second time our bowman had done the job. We really made the most of the easy conditions and hoisted, gybed and dropped again and again until the wind died away to nothing in time for the practice race. We decided to can proceedings, satisfied that we had pretty much nailed the basics.
So it was into Cowes for the skippers' briefing and dinner at the Island Sailing Club.