The mystery of what laser was sailing around the Island last weekend was revealed recently to be none other than Club Member Valentin Nedyalkov. Lasers are not eligible to enter the classic Round the Island race which this year was held over the weekend of 19th and 20th June so many observers were scratching their head as to who was in the laser seen rounding the Needles with the lead boat Leapord
Valentin Nedyalkov sailed around the Isle of Wight in a Laser Standard dinghy during the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race on 19 June, in 10 hours and 20 minutes, twice the length of time taken by ICAP Leopard.
Obviously Valentin couldn't be an official entry as dinghies are not a registered class for the event, but he said the reason he did it was because it would be the best ever training, giving him a full four to five hours downwind sailing. He boarded his boat in Stokes Bay, where his van was parked, and sailed it to the start line.
Valentin got to the Royal Yacht Squadron start line at 0400 and said he was passed by IDEC and Leopard just after the Needles. According to his GPS he got to St Catherine's in three hours, but thereafter had to beat all the way around the rest of the Island in increasingly choppy water created by the other boats. He said it was physically very hard as he had to hike out most of the time!
Valentin off Bembridge
Then once he crossed the finish line he had to sail the boat back to Stokes Bay.
What is all the more remarkable is that Valentin had been competing in the Europeans in Tallinn and then drove for 52 hours back across Europe with only six hours sleep before he got into the Laser again to head for the start line!
He said he would like to do it again next year for charity, but this year he wasn't sure he would make it back from the Europeans in time.