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Commodore's letter 2014

Dear High Point Sailors,

It hadn’t registered with me that I’m High Point Commodore for the year until Sasha invited me to write something for inclusion on the website. I’ll have to wait to see what else is involved in the job - I suspect not a great deal! The hard work of organising the event each year is done by Sasha and John and their respective teams. Most of us have already expressed our appreciation of their efforts in 2014, which resulted in another superb High Point, but I’m sure you’d all like me to reinforce that message. So Sasha, Inci, John, Dave and all who contributed, thank you and please do it again next year!

This year’s High Point was of course particularly memorable for us on Blue Bay because we won the event for the first time. Having previously had a third and a second, we hoped to do even better this year and were encouraged by having a good boat and a full complement of capable crew. Most of us had raced several times before on the Bavaria 46C so were familiar with the boat and, having been assured Blue Bay had recently been provided with new sails, we felt we had a good chance. So it proved to be, although there were a few other things favouring us that were not in our control!

Carolyn and her crew on the Swan obligingly added an extra island to their course in the first race, giving us a sporting chance. Then they changed to their smallest headsail and accepted a much more onerous handicap, which removed their chance of winning despite their great racing skills. Our own handicap was far from punitive and the winds were mostly not strong enough to allow the larger yachts to reach their potential speed, so we benefitted from that. And our boat, although seven years old, was in excellent condition. The only bit that fell off was the radar reflector, which decided to abandon ship in mid-race, hit the deck with a bang and disappeared over the stern!

So, a big thank you to the Blue Bay team:-

Co-skipper Evert - I couldn’t wish for a better first mate, full of good humour too, not to mention his music.
Dougie - our very capable man from Glasgow, keeping us entertained with his dry wit.
Brian - among many other qualities, his concern for the crew’s inner needs is much appreciated.
Fenella - a great sport and accomplished sailor; also a musician, but says her bassoon would not be at home on a yacht.
David - his expertise in racing tactics and fine trimming of sails is an education to us all
Helen - always a pleasure to sail with, ready to take on any task, even the less glamorous ones.

And we mustn’t forget to congratulate Dougie on being the winner of the inaugural Romeo and Juliet prize! (Are D and S really young enough to qualify? Surely yes, if being young at heart is what counts!)

I think the itinerary for this year’s High Point worked brilliantly. Göcek is a charming place to start and finish the week, with the added benefit of a short airport transfer. Three nights in beautiful quiet bays, each with a jetty and a restaurant, followed by a night in the ‘big city’ of Fethiye, with an opportunity to visit its fleshpots and importantly, to stock up with provisions in preparation for the Roux Gourmet Night. This is an event that has for me become a real highlight of the week and the lovely setting of Gemiler Island could hardly have been improved upon. Well done everyone who came up with such great dishes, providing sustenance for an evening of socialising, music and dancing.

Thank you to all who took part in High Point 2014; I hope you’ll be back next year. My crew have all signed up again and we look forward to hearing where Sasha and John will be taking us. Göcek will be hard to beat, but the roving nature of High Point is one if its attractions and I’m sure we’ll again find ourselves somewhere delightful. Incidentally, I wonder if 2014 was a record for the amount of time we all spent swimming? It’s rather more appealing to dive into the clear warm waters of Fethiye Bay than into the Solent or the Clyde, home waters for many of us!

To anyone reading this who has not taken part in the event before but is thinking of doing so - go for it! You will not be disappointed.

Best wishes to all until we next meet,
Philip and the Blue Bay Team

October 2014