How to avoid being expertly abused by a crazed bull


I went bull-running in Pamplona once. Just before the run began, the local next to me earnestly warned that, should I find myself face-to-face with a bull, I should stay still for my own and, more significantly for him, his benefit. ‘Eyes, no is good for no move,’ he advised. Once I realized he was being serious, I thought it fairly unlikely that I would follow his advice if the situation arose.

I was reminded of this when putting together a guide to Cowes Week. I’d mistakenly recommended Gurnard Bay as a good anchorage for watching the racing. It’s perfectly positioned but its bottom is strewn with power and phone cables so it is, in fact, a lousy anchorage.

‘Maybe boats could just mill around rather than anchor?’ a colleague suggested. I thought about it for a moment then remembered the advice. Anchored, you’re standing still, effectively invisible. Underway means ‘in the way’ and your chances of being skewered, or expertly abused at the very least, by the crazed bulls of Cowes are infinitely higher.