Monday, 6 June 2011

Finish up

The team is all now home... we had a long frustrating day yesterday... On arrival at the boat park the AP was up because of thunderstorms. After a lot of hanging about in the marquee where we grabbed a table and did a big debrief on what the team members had learnt form the event including Carla and Tim and things they needed to bring/work on for Portugal before the race committee cancelled the racing for the day. Tim and Carla made a dash for the Rib to get it put only to find a log jam in a funnel to the slipway similar to the measurement queue we experienced on our first day and lots of frustrated and shouting coaches... There were two slipways and a rib driver decided to back his trailer down the slip then get out and lock his car so it could not be moved and insist his RIB at the back of the log jam came out first. He was not popular and he held up one slip way for forty minutes because various RIB drivers had tied their Ribs to each other while they went to get their trailers and he could not get through. We now understand how hostilities break out . The best was the French woman who would not co-operate with Tim because she said she could not understand him so Tim turned around and repeated everything to her in perfect not so polite French!!

By the time we got the RIB out an hour and half later Georgia and Jemima arrived to the slipway to pack their boats on the RIB. We then went back to pretty deserted boat park to find the rest of the team struggling to pack the trailer... Although they had the keys they took quite a long time to open it and then work out where everything went so only two boats had been loaded in two hours and the van needed to be loaded and Dans boat got on the roof..We think we needed Josh to sort it out.  Tim and Carla were a bit short with the team because they were already soaked and cross about the RIB fiasco and then it started to really rain. Sailors were still in the sailing kit but Carla and Tim's waterproofs were defeated by the Dutch rain. In fact Carla had only just dried out by the time she reached Calais. Then there was an announcement about a Dyke flooding and we had to check is not the way we were going home.

In the end we left in convoy it had taken us two and half hours in the pouring rain to do what should have taken an hour.  It took six hours to Calais and we arrived to have just missed the earlier Ferry so we sorted out the van and the paperwork and Carla read more of Dan's book. We had our only meal out on the ferry and the sailors were shocked at the cost. Carla gave them the Euros so they could get their own. A captive market...

After reaching Dover at 11.15 we had a slow hour and half's drive in the pouring rain to Murray's house to unload Will, Mimi. Georgia, Jemima and Murray and some boats and kit and Dan and Carla finally reached Oxford at 3am to find the night shift painter still finishing off quietly in the peace of the early hours before the builders came today. Not sure who was more surprised?  At 8.15 Dan and Carla swopped the van for a car and set off to get Dan on the fast train from Milton Keynes to Bangor a first train trip for him. At the same time Brooke was driving Georgia and hour and half across London to St |Pancras to get her train to Yorkshire...

It was a worthwhile trip as things these things always are best summed up by Will on the ferry  ”I have learnt more on this trip than I would have in four national squad weekends" We recommend it to all.

We leave for Portugal in just over three weeks and there are lots of things to be practiced, bought and sorted out before then ..

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