Not only are these guys all amateurs, most of them work normal jobs through-out the year, having to take holiday to compete in the races... where they beat most of the professionals!
As part of our sponsorship deal we get the use of the boat for corporate entertainment days. These are usually for IFA's or clients who we would like to impress. The Guv found out there was a spare day going so he booked it up as a team building exercise for our department. Wednesday 20-odd finance types and I went to Cowes to go sailing on a racing yacht.
It was not the best of days for it. When we arrived it was very still and misty. The wind did pick up a little in the morning, but never much above 9-10 knots so the sailing was at a very leisurely pace. We did get the Bear up to 10 knots - but she is capable of a hell of a lot more.
We set off "up wind" so we would have a nice easy time of it coming back. Tacking is no end of fun... there are ropes flying about and about 15 or so people scrambling around like mad while the boat goes from leaning 40 degrees on one side to 40 degrees on the other. I really enjoyed it - even when it started to piss down and the water slowly seeped down my back. No one was sea-sick (the water was almost flat!) and everyone had a laugh.
Go here to see the photos I took of the boat.