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Cracker in full race mode at Skandia Cowes Week in 2007

This is the Cracker Team racing Stephen's IMX 40 yacht, Cracker, at the Cowes Week Regatta in August 2007. This is just a little clip showing our team in full race mode during one of the very competitive races amongst many professional teams.

Although most of the crew look like they are just sitting, they are in fact acting as 'useful' ballast to make the boat go even faster. Notice how the team don't all move until the very last moment before the tack takes place.


Cracker in Felixstowe in preparation for Port of Felixstowe Regatta 2007

Having completed some start of season practice races at Brightlingsea, we are now gearing ourselves up for the first proper race of the SailEast 2007 campaign, starting with the Port of Felixstowe Regatta. Felixstowe is a wonderful place to hold a Regatta, and besides the busy race schedule, the social scene is also, erm... pretty social!

Here is Cracker, an IMX 40 yacht, moored at the marina.

Cracker of Brightlingsea in Felixstowe

Visit the Cracker site for race results and photographs throughout this season.

Hopefully, we might just manage to get a cooker on board sometime soon and enjoy dishes from our Cracker Cookbook. hmmmmmm.


Cracker of Brightlingsea had a wonderful Regatta at Cowes Week 2006

Today was the last day of the Skandia Cowes Week which took place in the Solent between the UK mainland and the Isle of Wight. Lack of sufficient wind on the last day resulted in many of the classes not starting in the final race of the 2006 regatta.

During the week, Cowes Radio broadcast a racing commentary with Simon Vigar speaking from the Royal Yacht Squadron and Dick Johnson out and about on the water. It was a really useful commentary as it covered much of the action in the boats starting ahead of our class, and also provided regular weather forecasts. Having listened for much of the week, and being mentioned very little, we thought we would have some fun and send the studio our top 10 interesting facts about Cracker.

I recorded the broadcast (repeated from 10pm)

Listen to the email that we sent to and was read aloud on Cowes Radio.

Needless to say, Cracker got LOTS of mentions following our email.

The Cracker Team did rather well, finishing 3rd overall... out of the 30 or so boats in the Class 6 IRC. Here are the boats finishing in the top 10.

(click image for the full list of results)

For a quick overview of the whole week, visit and watch the short videos online.


Ramsgate Regatta 2005

Spent last week sailing onboard Cracker. It was an eventful week-long event, starting the week tanked up with crew members, and by Monday, dropping like flies. This was partly due to getting hit across the head by the mainsheet block attached to the boom. It all became quite lively as the rescue boat was called and I was taken to shore where the waiting ambulance took me to A&E. All fine now - my head was glued together! ... but people don't hang about with head injuries it seems. In fact, it was all quite reassuring how quickly help is on hand if the need arises.

A few days later, I was back on board, meanwhile the team were doing very well despite losing Bill earlier in the week too. We won plenty of Ramsgate Regatta glassware, enough for one each, reaching the dizzy heights of second place on the final day.

Thank you Stephen, Carole and the rest of the team, including newbies Rob and Terry. It was another fantastic sailing event, despite everything! Check out the IRC Class 3 race results.

More photographs still to come...


Round the Island Race, Isle of Wight, Cowes

Had a fantastic weekend - thanks team - sailing on Cracker for the Round the Island Race at Cowes (Isle of Wight.) Cracker is an Oyster 37 ft yacht.

See my collection of photographs from the event. It was an early start... leaving the pontoon at about 6:20am and heading for the waiting area so that we could watch big boats like B&Q and Ellen MacArthur leave the start line. As it was, there was a postponed start, but luckily this was only by an hour.

We worked well together, learnt lots and had good fun. I was quite honoured to be on the Cracker team given that other Cracker team members had arrived for this race. The team consisted of... Stephen (helm), Carole (navigation), Katie (main sheet), Rick (pit). Tim (jib/genoa sheet), Gordon (jib/genoa sheet), Toby (spinnaker sheet), Melissa (bow), Bex (mast), Jonathan (foredeck) - I found the Mad Hatters guide which usefully explains these roles.

New role for me working on foredeck, planting the jib and assisting the winchers/grinders to pull in the jib during tacks and gybes. Provided me with a great opportunity to observe other roles and understand race tactics.


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