Sailing the Topaz

Arrived at Shotwick sailing club at 11am, collected my membership card and, with the help of Roy (from the RYA course 3 weeks ago) unloaded the Topaz and rigged her. A quick change into all my new Gul gear and we were ready – the boat has a huge sail, at least a third bigger than the Pico we learnt on, but has we’re both 14 stone the main sail needed to be big to move us! The course soon came back to us and we soon zoomed up the lake, the wind was quite gusty and it wasn’t long before we capsized, however the Topaz is easy to right and get back into due to the open transom. We rigged the Jib and then it became obvious how quick it was! We got stuck in the mud nearer the shore and capsized a couple more times (a combination of my lazy tacking, a jamming main sheet and some big gusts!), but we were having fun trying to see how far we could push the Topaz – I can see why a trapeze wire is supplied as you really have to hike out. After a couple of hours we were quite exhausted and headed for the shore – not a bad first day, need to work on my tacking, sort out the jamming main sheet and get fitter! Smiles all round and the boat got a few admiring glances too!

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