Wednesday, 30 June 2010
Rory and Cookie in Newport
Hi Folks, Rory here at long last!!
Wow, is it good to be here. Of course there is a huge list of thank yous to shout out. Biggest of all is to my wife Michelle, who was always at the end of the satphone to give me an emotional boost when I was low and to decipher my quick garbled news updates and turn them into something worth reading on the blog - fantastic job Michelle - love you!
Big thank you to all who sent messages of support and of course to all who have donated to the Chichester Trust.
The finish was all I ever dreamed of. Michelle kept me updated how close it was between The Grand and Cookie on our converging courses. I never regarded the Jester as a race but rather my personal goal to arrive in Newport safely and in the best time for Cookie and I. However I did get hooked a little and after getting good sleep the 23rd, I pushed hard the last few miles and didn't sleep the last 2 days. I did reflect on all the legendary OSTAR sailors that have sailed the same waters into Newport before me and felt so proud of Cookie to be sailing in their wake. The last night I arrived was a gorgeous clear sky with full moon and gentle SW breeze making me feel extra lucky to be finishing the Jester after the sad news of Andy and Amadeous and of course all the other skippers that had to retire for difficult reasons. I pay tribute to you all and hope one day you get to cross your finish line.
Crossing the finish off Castle Hill at 0904BST on the 26th June 2010 was amazing. I had just pushed the Spot Tracker button to alert all the followers when Michelle called me on the phone as I crossed the line, so she really was with me as I finished - perfect. Got a bit tricky trying to talk and gybe at the same time when the jib sheet wrapped round the tiller!!! But we made it.
As I approached the harbour, the Newport Yacht Club sent out a launch to escort me in and my good friends Paul and Dave were aboard to take photos and complete the welcome - fantastic. Also great friends Frank & Meredith from catamaran 'Out of Practice' were out in their RIB to give a hoop and holler. Cookie and I really did receive our OSTAR-style Newport welcome!!!!
I sincerely congratulate Igor and The Grand on their 1st place. For Igor to be the 1st Russian to win a singlehanded event is so fitting and therefore is perfect he pipped me to the post. I am just so proud of Cookie and her simplicity to have given a 25ft racing monohull a run for her money!!!!
Finally I would like to say a big thank you to Norm Bailey and George Pike of the Newport Yacht Club for their very special welcome and their warm hospitality. They are making every effort to help us little guys out and make us feel at home in the 'sailing capital' of the USA.
For now, Cookie is resting on a mooring while I spend time with Michelle, catch up on sleep, eat lots of good food and heal the sores on me bum! I'll be getting a few repairs done on Cookie and then should be taking off to head back for English shores 2nd week of July. Still looking for crew..........!!