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David Ogden
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David Ogden   My Press Releases

Sailing in Cyprus

Published on 5/1/2015
For additional information  Click Here

Sailing In Cyprus

The last couple of days I have had a break from my normal routine, I was given the opportunity to introduce a couple of Russian to the joys of sailing one of our J80 Keelboats in Limmersol bay. The first day consisted of two three hour sessions getting to know the boat and learning how to sail upwind and tack the boat. The only previous sailing experience they possessed was an introduction to sailing course onboard our Benateau 40 CR two days previously.

The moment they took the helm, they realised, this is what they were looking for as a pastime in retirement. The J80 is known a performance keelboat, however it is so easy to handle it can also be a family boat for fast sailing with a crew of two.

I knew from the weather forecast that the second day of sailing was going to be a challenge with winds forecast force 6 gusting 7, so on the first day I showed them how to stop the boat and "Heave To" demonstrating a safe position which can be used to take a breather in any conditions and I explained we would use this the following day. We practiced sailing upwind, tacking and trimming the sails on various points of sailing. Each of them was amazed at how easy is was to control this pocket yacht or oversized dinghy.

Thursday dawned as expected with the winds whistling through the rigging of the boats in the Limmersol Marina, after informing the Marine police of our plans, we set out preparing the boat, with the winds already blowing force 5+. We set up a reef in the mainsail and decided to start with we would sail under main alone leaving the jib furled.

As we turned the final corner to exit the marina we were met with the full force of the wind and it was all our outboard motor could do to make headway against the wind and and waves. Once clear of the entrance we hoisted the main sail and Alex turned onto a starboard tack, The boat immediately heeled over and started to punch through the waves, I shutdown the labouring outboard and we headed upwind to the Acroteri peninsular.

We spent sometime working our way upwind, dodging the larger waves and at times been deluged with water. We partly opened the jib to balance the boat and make the steering easier.The trip became more worth while when we were able to turn away onto a reach and the boat was able to lift is bows out of the water as we surfed along the waves, bearing way in the gusts and luffing in the lulls at around 19 knots.

The winds were still rising and so we started to modify our sailing plans by looking to extend the first of the days sessions and cancel the afternoon session. We turned back upwind to implement the plan and I took over the helm, however it became obvious that it would be prudent to head towards shelter and end on a high rather that risking damage to equipment.

We headed towards the breakwater of Limmersol harbour where I demonstrated "heaving to", so that I could coax the outboard motor to start and also plan how and where we were going to turn into the wind to stow the main sail. With the plan in place it was a simple matter to execute it. Rolling up the jib execute turning quickly in to the wind and holding the boat in place with the motor. stowing the mainsail and then heading downwind to the Marina breaking out the jib to speed our passage.

David Ogden
Sailing Master

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