He seemed like a nice man.  He spoke comfortingly of indoor storage and careful use on Frencham Pond, then he hooked my Solo onto the back of his car and towed it away.  Lucre has changed hands and my lovely blue boat, which had given me so much weekly pleasure, is now Geoff’s lovely blue boat.

“Don’t complain, you’ve got a nice big toy to play with now” said Anne, with her usual compassion.

“At least we won’t have to listen any more to your lame excuses as to why Richard beat you again” added daughter #1, who takes after her mother in the sentiment department “or moaning about the lack of wind.”

What do they know?  This is the crunchiest bit yet.  No more close-quarters beats, no more heart-in-mouth gybe marks (speed is your friend!).  No more planing on a broad reach, sitting in the bow-wave and wiping your eyes of the spray.

I dare say that an Amel ketch rarely planes and when it does, it is not necessarily to be welcomed.

I dare say that sailing an Amel is to racing a Solo as driving a Volvo trailing a caravan down the M6 is to rallying a Subaru in the forests of Finland. Only wetter and more costly.

Oh well.  It’s what I wanted, as Anne did not quite refrain from pointing out.  As Oscar Wilde said: ‘In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it’Image