The bi-annual Clemtech Clipper Sailing Challenge was again a thrilling fast-paced race around the Isle of Wight, not for the faint-hearted and the CoMech team yet again stood up to the task ahead.
The Clipper Challenge, which took place in September, welcomed experienced crews from the UK rail sector. The challenge saw six boats taking part with fully crewed Clippers, fully equipped round-the-world racing yachts. This was the third year the challenge was organised and the race set off from Portsmouth anticlockwise around the island and past the Needles and up the Solent to the finish line at the Royal Yacht Squadron.
The first day’s racing saw fantastic weather and the race got off to a great start. The experienced CoMech team took advantage of the prevailing wind by using well-seasoned tactics. At times the determined crew faced up to fifteen-foot swells and with some close yacht on yacht racing with the other teams, but the CoMech team were not deterred and every crew member played a role in finally finishing fourth at the Royal Yacht Squadron finish line.
The second day’s hotly contested racing saw the fleet racing in the Solent starting at Cowes, the objective to score as many points as possible by passing buoys with different scores, the finish line being outside Portsmouth, it was a close finish with all the crews desperate to hear their score for both the races. CoMech came second behind the Clemtech Crew.
CoMech Directors Matthew Pallett and Keith Pallet commented: “Last year the conditions were fantastic for the first three hours then the wind really picked up at St Catherine’s Point which proved very difficult towards the latter stages of the course. This year the swells were a lot higher and the racing was very tight, but we are both keen sailors so the conditions didn’t deter us from trying to get our hands on that trophy. Although this is not a serious race we really wanted to win!”
This was a fantastic opportunity for our staff, clients and suppliers to take part in what has become a firm favourite event in the UK Rail calendar.