Own up to your sailing sin for the chance to win a handheld VHF radio


A sailing confession by Ed Beard

The veteran skipper of a successful racing yacht invited me to join his seasoned crew for an offshore season.

As a novice to high- performance sailing, I was eager to show everyone how helpful and competent I could really be.

Before long I was promoted from winch-grinding to galley mate.

Although my porridge was reviewed as having ‘plaster of Paris consistency’, my early efforts paid off as I began to earn the crew’s trust and respect.

This changed during one particularly hard- fought race from England to France, when the bowman called through the howling wind and driving rain: ‘Bring up the bag for the jib!’

With customary enthusiasm I dove below deck to search for it.

No luck.

In the darkness, the heavy-duty blue sail bag had all but vanished, hidden amid piles of spare sails.

As the swell of the sea tossed me around the pitching cabin, I grew impatient and frustrated at my failure in this critical moment.

Just then, my flailing hands grazed rough canvas, and I could just make out that it was blue – success!

Continues below…

I grasped it and heaved it up onto the deck, before holding it triumphantly aloft in the cockpit before the assembled crew.

It was not the sail bag.

It was the blue sack used to stow the crew’s sleeping bags.

At that moment, a powerful gust of breeze forced the bag wide open and a dozen sleeping bags billowed out into the English Channel.

I am still waiting for my invite back.

For your chance to win a Standard Horizon HX210E waterproof VHF radio worth £134.95, send your confession, in under 300 words to: yachtingmonthly@futurenet.com