Mum’s word on our Poole and Fastnet Race weekend

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I recently spent a long weekend with Mum and Dad aboard Formanda visiting some of our family boating haunts and then getting up close and personal with the Fastnet Race starters. Here is a really good account of our adventures, written by Mum:

Sheila Hollamby
My Mum, the author of this article, on Formanda’s deck as we enter Poole

Barry and I were very happy and privileged to accept an invitation from Kim to join him for a weekend on his boat on Thursday 8 August during Cowes Week. Thank you to Michelle, who was away on business for the weekend, for allowing it to happen and to Kim for making it all possible.

Kim was good enough to take us to parts of the Solent which he knew we had visited several times over during our sailing days, and a trip around Poole Harbour which we know very well, even to the point of having had a mooring there for a while.

We spent the first night on Kim and Michelle’s mooring and the second night at anchor off of Studland Bay, where we have anchored many times before, and the third night was spent near Brownsea Island, again one of our mooring spots.

We set out Sunday morning and started on our way back with the intention of mooring up at Newtown on the Isle of Wight, which eventually we did, but before that happened things got really exciting.

Barry Hollamby
Dad at the helm

The Sunday at the end of Cowes Week every other year is the start of the Fastnet Race and we were really caught up with the excitement of it all. The first class to race were all the big boats and we soon found ourselves in the midst of them. Because of the wind conditions the boats had to tack and we were having to manoeuvre round them for some time.

Kim was good enough to let Barry take the helm, which left him free to take as many photographs as he could, even though he was keeping a careful look out for what his Dad was getting up to. I have complete confidence in Barry as a helmsman and in Kim who certainly knows how to handle his boat. You should see him take it off and on to his mooring! We finally arrived back at the home mooring on Monday, and once home we followed the progress of the boats during the week.

One of the Fastnet 2013 competitors soon after the start
One of the Fastnet 2013 competitors soon after the start

I can still live the excitement of it all, and how I connected to it. That is, I really felt how much it was like the race for life that we all have to live.

There are those who are first to win, and those that come limping in at the last, and of course the others in between who keep on doing their best until they reach home. There are those who have the responsibility of it all, and those who are happy to watch, enjoy, and let it all happen. But we are subject to our turn in all of those things, and that whatever we go through we have a leader to help us, and the connection with the excitement of it all is the excitement that I feel when I wake in the morning and know that God will travel the day with me.

Hebrews c12 v1 tells us: “Therefore since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us.”

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