It’s OK when a squall comes

Imagine the scene.

There I am, in a RIB, taking photos of the OK national championships in Weymouth bay. It’s pretty standard stuff. A nice breeze blowing and I am getting some nice images of the competitors. Some group shots and some close ups. All good stuff but not terribly exciting.

Then it starts to rain. The wind increases and by the look of the sky there’s a squall coming.

I decide to move my RIB and get across to the other side of the race course where the boats will be flying down there last reach to the finish line. I don’t have time to get the finish area before the leaders round the gybe mark for the final time so I stop approximately two thirds the way along the leg and right in the rhumb line.

As the leaders approach the sky darkens and the boats are almost monochrome against the leaden sky with just a flash of colour from the sailors clothing.

What followed was three minutes of fantastic opportunity with leaders appearing out of the gloom.

I think the low contrast confused the camera’s auto focus so I went to manual focus and exposure.

It was then a matter of timing to get the images I was after. I wanted lots of spray to convey the speed of movement and I selected continuous high to make sure I didn’t miss any of the action.

Fortunately, there was one blue hulled boat in the leading group which added to the shot. Sadly for him the power of the squall caused his mast foot to fail, bringing his regatta to a premature end. I hope the picture gave him some enjoyment at least.

Being right in the middle of the leg was probably not the most popular place to be from a competitor’s perspective as they we having trouble just holding on without and extra obstacle to avoid, but I only got shouted at once so I’ll take that as a win ๐Ÿ˜

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