Samaritan AZAB 2019 Final Blog

Tim Vaughan
Mon 1 Jul 2019 13:08
13:00 Monday 1st July

Well here I am with big smile on my face. I’ve just left Falmouth and am heading home to Dartmouth. Mandy on board, Samaritan bowling along at 6kts with the autopilot doing all the work and I’m so looking forward to seeing all our daughters and grandaughters during the next few days.

The last couple of days have been a lovely blur. One minute I was sailing round the Lizard heading up to the finish line and now I’m on my way home.

What a reception I had coming in. A couple of miles out I was met by the RCYC rib with live facebook streaming and another club launch, so I had to up my game, make sure I sailed in a straight line and look as if I knew what I was doing. Joking aside, I had to dodge a few fishing pots and there was a lot of traffic on the water and I hadn’t had to worry about such things for a long time. The claxon went off at 16.32 Saturday 29th June and that was it, I’d finished!!! I dropped the mainsail for the first time in 11 days and headed into Pendennis. (I noticed the main halyard was badly chafed and wouldn’t have lasted another 10 days, so I had been fortunate)

And then there was my ever present welcoming committee, Mandy Chrissie and Chris, who had started the celebrations rather earlier in the day (a little too early if truth be told!). I just can’t thank them enough, they have been with me all the way and were waving and shouting as I managed to bring the boat alongside without whacking Mark Slat’s Maverick who was berthed next door.

And then there were all the crews from the other boats to take my lines and welcome me in. Hugs and kisses, beers, G&T’s etc etc. It doesn’t get much better. It was a warm sunny afternoon which turned into a few more beers and 25 of us ended up at the local curry house, swapping stories of our journeys, It was just great. I lasted to about midnight and we headed back to the boat. I went to bed feeling like a sailing god and slept like a good’un.

However, it was obviously time to come back down to earth. When we had got back to the boat that night the bloody toilet was playing up. In the morning, it was clear there was going to be no easy fix. So I spent Sunday taking apart the inside of cupboards, stripping out all pipes, cleaning them and putting it all back together. Sailing god my arse, plumber more like! It’s all fixed now and, actually the boat is remarkably good shape. I’m feeling pretty chipper too.

When I first said I would blog every day, I thought it would just be seen by a few family and friends who might be interested in how I was getting on. I have therefore been amazed to find that other folks have been reading it too and people have come up to me to say its put a smile on their faces, which is great. So thank you to everyone for taking an interest in my AZAB 2019 experience, you’ve helped make it even more memorable.

On the subject of thank you’s. Thanks are due to:

- The organising committee for creating such a special event.
- Ed Wildgoose and Mailasail and all the other sponsors
- The RCYC for making us feel so welcome.
- Sarah Hancock for being my race “buddy” (who makes the most wonderful ginger cake and was there with a bottle of plonk when we got back).
- Club Naval in Ponta Delgada for looking after us.
- All the other competitors (who would do anything to help you). Hopefully I’ll see you at the award ceremony in September.
- I’ve already thanked Mandy, Chrissie and Chris but I really can’t thank you enough.

My thoughts are also with those competitors who started but couldn’t finish. I know how I would feel if it had happened to me. I hope you get the chance to do this next time.

Was thinking how to end this and just realised that I haven’t mentioned what place I finished in. To be honest I haven’t really looked, it really isn’t important. I said in my race biography when I entered back in Jan 2018, that I just wanted to get there and back safely and enjoy the ride, and I certainly have!