An entirely different challenge

Published on July 21st, 2022

There’s a lot of desert to the east of California, so when championships are held in the ‘Golden State’, traveling competitors have come a long way. For the 2022 Snipe US Nationals in San Diego, over a third of the fleet were putting serious miles on their trailerable boats.

But aside from varying temperaments, and not enough Waffle House restaurants, all that’s needed in the USA is a credit card with a good limit for fuel. In this report by Alice Driscoll, she recalls a 2018 trip in which the 1,000 miles to the UK from Lake Garda were not that simple:

The J24 World Championships in Italy were coming to an end and talk turned to the journey home. We’d originally flown in while another of the team towed the boat to Italy, and now it was our turn to tow the boat back to Britain.

It was time to make my confession. “If I don’t have my driver’s licence with me, then I can’t help with the driving, can I?” I said.

My husband looked astounded. “But,” he spluttered, “you researched everything we needed to tow through Europe, and sorted the paperwork out, what do you mean you don’t have your licence?”

Grudgingly he accepted that amid all the event preparations I’d forgotten it and now he was the only person qualified to drive. I’ve been towing dinghies for years but my boat is just 13ft long and I can unhitch the trailer and move the boat by hand if necessary.

And there’s always a reliable rescue service at the end of the phone. So driving 1,000 miles towing a J24 keelboat, which weighs 1500kg and sits 4m high – is an entirely different challenge. – Full report

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