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We got up at the unearthly hour of 4am to get the flight to Malaga from Manchester. It was a great flight that arrived in Malaga at about 11am. We were met by Cesear, who despite several emails turned up with a small car for 4, but we were 6 people and there was also Don Bradbury who was the Scira Commodore from San Diego. So we then had to wait a little while for a bigger bus! We then got on the bus without Cesar and realised that we had no further instructions!

We checked in at our apartment and then took a walk to the sailing club, dropped our sails off but could not find the elusive Cesear, after a walk down the promenade we managed to catch up with him and we were taken to our boat! In the meantime whilst at the bar we had just met team USA, athletic, well-honed blondes who despite a very long flight looked amazing.

We were told that number 52 which had just come back from the masters was to be ours and that it was the second best boat in the competition, we are mortified! As we start to set up the boat the Brazilian girls were setting off for a practice in thong bikinis! And the helm just bent over the boat to put the rudder on Omg!!!!

Anyway back to the boat, it's a Pearson with a deep cockpit and almost as many ropes as Eric’s, even worse they don't use a burgee and our Jib wire is too long! We then looked around the jetties and cannot see where we would launch, so we braved the question, apparently we drop them off the two tiny floating jetties pick our way between the moored yachts and on the return three men help get them back up!

Set up done and Cesear offers to show us the club, to say we were gob smacked is a complete understatement. 3500 members and they have had a very un-PC wall covered with the winners of the annual beauty pageant that has been going since the 50's.Called at the beach on the way back to the apartment where there was an old snipe being used as a fish BBQ.

Tuesday - we got down to the club for 10.00am for the start of measuring, no instructions, but we eventually gathered that the measurer was unhappy with the table and measuring was then abandoned until later in the day when the table had been sorted to his satisfaction. We took advantage of the delay in proceedings and went for a walk around the lovely old town of Malaga. Back for measuring at 3.00 still a distinct lack of directions, but after Rob had sussed what was happening we managed to fill in the application form and get the sails and boat measured. All ok however the new HD jib is on the small side the wire is a little long for the Pearson and they came over to feel the fabric and signed us off. The Japanese were in front of us and produced their sails folded out of a small suitcase!!!! Finally we launched off the end of the pontoon and went for a play with the many ropes that had invaded the boat.

Wednesday- well today was billed as a practice race to start at 13.00 hours in true Spanish style it was delayed as the race committee were in transit from Madrid. Interestingly at this point we were still in possession of our entry form. Again after some observations of the rest of the competitors Michelle Sussed that we needed a welcome pack which transpired to be a free t-shirt (made for size 0-12) there was no real information regarding what was happening so we were on standby for quite a few hours. We eventually went out at three completely in contravention to the sailing instructions and had a very interesting practice race with a W course which was postponed, abandoned and crossed paths with the Europa moths, which was slightly worrying. As there are 70 boats the wind dropped on the leeward leg of the course and we ended up being towed in. The entertainment that was planned was a briefing and an opening ceremony, both ended up in the evening due to the delayed start. We had asked if there was a meal and we were told yes. Anyway 3 glasses of wine later and a few nibbles we were absolutely starving. There was a briefing and ceremony that was more pomp and circumstance than substance although there was a union jack amongst the other flags just for us, didn't learn a lot except for the start time tomorrow. Introduced ourselves to the Japanese team who are both musicians, one was a flautist and the other an opera singer.

Thursday -racing was due to start at 1.00 the winds were light and the postponement flag was raised for 1hr. At 1.00 the D flag was raised signalling that you could launch, we are racing with the Europa moths so there were boats everywhere, we managed to get into the water and headed out of the harbour, after an hour we were still miles from the committee boat. Most of the other Spanish boats had been offered a tow to the racing area and finally a rib came to pick the USA Japan and ourselves up. We bobbed around in 30 degrees for another hour whilst the locals striped down to their bikinis and furled their jibs to make a sun deck. Finally the racing was abandoned and we were towed back again! The forecast is not looking promising for the rest of the week.

Friday-well we waited all day and finally went out at 4.30; the Europa’s started but was eventually recalled for a new start after 40 mins as the wind had changed direction. We ended up being towed back yet again but on a positive note we are still in the same position that we started and haven't fluffed a start yet and we were interviewed for snipe today by team USA.

Saturday-well we have some wind but not quite enough to go out on time, so we had a postponement, and then we finally got the flag to go. The wind strength was still low so we had 3 shortened races on a windward leeward course. In true British fashion we were bringing up the rear but only slightly, whilst we crossed the line last, we were actually 19 out of 21 boats in 2 races due to OCS and disqualification. There was chaos on the windward mark that resulted in a number of protests, which the Spaniards seem to revel in.

Sunday-the final day of racing and we actually left on time we had one race which started as a windward leeward and changed into a triangle after the second leg and then back again after the forth leg. We were narrowly pipped to the post by two ladies from Cadiz to last place, in the final race the wind dropped and whilst we finished within 3 minutes of the penultimate boat it wasn’t our best effort.

Prize giving was to be held on the sun terrace at 5.30 but as we left at 4.30 we missed it. The lead boat was a local Spaniard and the majority of the competitors were under 22.

It was a fantastic opportunity and we were lucky to be loaned a very nice boat. Many thanks to the snipe fleet for their support, sadly we have no really embarrassing moments to share we were just a little too slow.

Results can be viewed on Snipe Today

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