Sailing with Percy

Last week, I went sailing with Percy. No, not Iain Percy, who was otherwise occupied competing in the Star class for Team GB at Weymouth in the London 2012 Olympics (although I have spent a morning on a RIB with Iain Percy, but that is another story), but Percy… an inflatable hippopotamus.

It all started innocently enough with a try-a-sail for one of the local arts groups. I was asked to take a group out for a ‘bit of a jaunt’ in the bay; I realised this would not be a straightforward assignment when one of the guys came out with his buoyancy aid on… and an additional rubber ring shaped as a hippo.

Percy makes an appearanceWhat ensued turned out to be one of the best evenings I have ever had sailing. There were water fights, water bombs being thrown, races between the boats – all the things you expect to do with a bunch of ten year olds, not fully grown adults. Somehow, Percy ended up helming the boat…

Helming with Percy… and even took part in a capsize drill!

Capsizing with PercyI’m not overly sure it was an RYA approved capsize recovery technique, but Percy certainly ensured that the dagger board was slightly easier to reach. All that was left after righting the boat was to bring Percy ashore for a well earned drink; I’m sure Percy will be out for more sailing before too long.