When will the rocking stop?

Since the end of June I feel that I have spend my daylight hours bouncing around on a RIB along the south coast of England, having buckets of cold sea water being thrown in my face, all the while attempting to capture riveting images of large, magnificient sailing yachts as they race through the choppy waters.

My office, now that I am there, hasn't stopped rocking yet, my inner ear having trouble stabilising to the non -motion of my chair and desk!

The JP Morgan Round the Island race is reported elsewhere on this blog, following this I spent the next week in Falmouth, covering the fabulous Pendennis Cup off the waters there. I do have to say that this is probably my favourite area for sailing photography. A superb backdrop and the waters always seem so free compared to the Solent. The entry was excellent with the mega yacht Athos designed by Hoek Design and measuring in at over 200 feet; the Pendennis built wc Storey and Dykstra designed Adela resplendant in her white hull with red liveried crew; The Herreshoff built Mariette of 1915 and probably my favourite yacht, the William Fife designed and built Mariquita, refitted by Fairlie Restorations about 10 years ago.

These were joined by Bare Necessities, Bequia, Breakaway, Firebrand, Tomahawk, Velacarina and Unfurled, the German Frers designed, Royal Huisman built modern charger.
A great week of photography.

Then back up to the solent for the annual Panerai British Classic Yacht Regatta. Here a bigger fleet of yachts of all sizes, some dating back to before the 1900's! Photographing these old classics battling upwind in a force 5 was truly exhilerating.

Then came the J Class. Those iconic classic yachts designed in the 1930's gracing our shores in the Solent for the first time in over ten years. Four attended, Velsheda, Lionheart, Rainbow and Ranger. Weather conditions were from awful to sublime, but the racing was brilliant. The Saturday saw the Hundred Guinea Cup, a race around the Isle of Wight for these stallions of the yachting world. Unfortunately Rainbow pulled out with technical issues, but the remaining three provided great imagery once we'd cleared the hoards of spectator boats at the start and finish of the race. I was on one of the few boats to follow the race right around the Island, and although there were light winds south of St Catherine's point, it made great photography.

The following week was the turn of the Superyacht Cup held off the Royal Yacht Squadron at Cowes. Light winds started off but in the afternooons the sea breeze built to provide superb pictures of the likes of ICAP/Leopard and the eventual winner, the newly built Hamilton.

Back in the office, the images from these manic weeks have now been processed with a selection available by following the Yacht Event Photography on the home page.

Next week is the Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, followed by the Paralympics sailing at Weymouth and then The panerai Regates Royales in Cannes.

Once the room stops rocking it will start all over again no doubt!

Ian Badley