Having fun raising money for Arthritis Research UK


Back in November, John Stageman made the winning bid for a day’s sailing on Mostly Harmless in an auction at the Arthritis Research UK Lantern Opera. John, three family members and one of the directors of the charity joined Tom and Natalie for day on the Solent, exploring the Medina and Beaulieu, and feasting on boat food, including strawberries and cream from offshore racing dog bowls.



West Princessa – from 1st to 7th in the last mile

With Natalie’s shoulder not yet repaired, Robert Stevenson joined Tom for the Royal Southampton YC West Princessa Race.  The A5 didn’t go up exactly cleanly first time, but once it was up Mostly Harmless quickly recovered ground on a shy spinnaker reach to the Ryde Sands eastern post, before losing a bit by being slightly more cautious than some of the fleet rounding Bembridge Ledge and consequently requiring a tack to make West Princessa Buoy.  However, MH found turbo on the white sail reach back to the Ryde Sands and pulled out a comfortable lead over all the boats rating lower on the fetch to the finish.  But, rather than protect our position, we freed off too soon for the finish at the Brambles and were caught out a by a heading shift in a breeze building to over 25 knots that allowed boats that had been well behind to make the line while we had to put in a tack.  But for the mistake late in the race, a great day’s sailing with good trimming from Robert supporting hot boat speed.

Would we have made this mistake with Natalie on board?  Probably not!

Big Foot, who’d been thirty boat lengths behind off Norris, passes ahead approaching the finish line at the BramblesDSC01240

Mostly Harmless finally crosses the line, 3 minutes on corrected time behind the overall winnerDSC01245



Round the Island 2017

With Natalie out of action while she recovers from a shoulder operation, Tom was joined by Tori Davies, the Vialls family (David, Chris and Emily), and Iulia Kramarenko, who appeared at HYS on Friday evening ready to join the crew after losing her berth on another RTI entry.

With a crew that was largely new to the boat we took it fairly gently, flying the A5 rather than the A2, but there were some high points nonetheless: a bold start and quick leg down the Solent; cutting the corner inside the Varvassi wreck, and some good recovery of places on the beat from Bembridge to the Ryde Sands north post and shifting into river sailing mode around Norris.

The professionals took some nice photos: Patrick Eden caught us at St Catherines and Paul Wyeth on the beat back up the Solent:

Patrick Eden photo rounding St Cats

Paul Wyeth photo 130079

Iulia, David and Tori also took some shots of the race and crew on the way round and on the way back to the Hamble:


0550 – skipper checks the course in the GPS before the start



0650 – close fetch down the Solent to Hurst narrows


0730 – getting set to go inside the Varvassi wreck at the Needles and hoist A2


0740 – Tori gets set to hoist A5 after the Needles


0800 – David and Emily as we cross Freshwater Bay


0805 – Tom back on the helm


0810 – Tori trims, while Chris grinds


0840 – Tori takes a break at the back of the boat with Emily











0840 – what a lot of boats

0850 – Crossing Freshwater Bay, David trimming, Tom steering, Iulia taking it easy

0940 – Approaching St Catherine’s, Tori back trimming


1000 – Skipper looks around as it’s getting quite exciting with close quarters stuff and one or two broaches just after St Catherine’s – we’d just dropped the A5







1030 – Then a fetch from Dunnose Point, just after Ventnor, to Bembridge Ledge Buoy

1040 – Looking back

1040 – and to leeward

1040 – David and Iulia


1050 – Tori trimming with change sheet on reach to Bembridge

1110 – Round Bembridge Ledge and now beating towards No Man’s Land Fort

1150 – Approaching Ryde Sands – skipper wonders how close he cut the corner


1320 – Wind dropping off as we beat down the Solent, Tori fine trimming


1400 – Beating up to the finish – just like river sailing


1445 – Emily helming back across the Solent after the finish



1500 Chris and Emily