It turned out to be an action-packed afternoon at the yacht club today! Certainly not one we would have chosen – a storm suddenly blew up and several of the yachts were on the water waiting for the start of the race. It happened so quickly that we did not have time to tell them to go back to shore!
There was heavy wind, rain, thunder and lightning – it was very scary to watch, or should I say, not be able to watch the yachts. The visibility went down to about 50 metres and we could not see any of the boats!
The rescue boats were sent off to help and tow boats back to shore. Radio comms were difficult because of the storm. We heard several boats had capsized, including the Lightnings, which can be very difficult to get upright because they take on so much water. Then, we heard that one of the rescue boats had sunk! A short while later we heard that another rescue boat was in trouble – wonderful! Someone called for more rescue boats from elsewhere to come and help. All seemed utter chaos and disaster; it was nail-biting for those of us on shore, never mind for those on the water.
I do not know how long the storm lasted, but I think it was about an hour – it felt like 24 hours!! In spite of all the capsizes and sinkings, they eventually got all the people and boats home safely. They even managed to get the sinking rescue boats back.
I could not take any photos while the storm was dancing around us, but I managed to get a couple once the weather had cleared.
(Click on the photos to get a clearer image)
Rescue boat being rescued…
Ummm…is he sailing or swimming???