Sunny Sonar Sailing – Networking the Isle of Wight Way


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Brightbulb Design like to do things differently, so last Sunday we were excited to join Isle of Wight businesses at the Island Sailing Club Sonar Sailing Race Day, not just to sit at tables doing 60 second intro’s about our products and services… but to head out into the Solent as part of the Sonar Race Day.

Valiantly led by our team leader, Captain Matt, three crew members donned lifejackets and listened intently to the safety briefing before meeting our boat skipper, Andy. Andy knew everything about boats so we all felt in safe hands learning new skills like putting the main sail up, balancing the boat and learning the difference between jibing and tacking.

We also had high hopes of a win (two boats on the water does mean it’s a race) and there was certainly a friendly rivalry between Brightbulb on Fiscal and Datum Electronics on Hibiscus. I think Matt was heard to say, ‘they’re the only boat we have to beat’ (more on that later!).

Matt also coined the phrase, ‘we didn’t get a good start’ – many early-stage businesses might relate to this phrase…. getting started can be tough and it’s when you need good people around you and expert advice to guide you. We looked hopefully at Skipper Andy when the race countdown started, unfortunately we were maybe a little off the line when the race started, and possibly pointing towards Cowes rather than the first race marker but our confidence was still high (well, perhaps ‘moderate’).

Onwards around the buoys we raced, maintaining a steady 4th or 5th placing, with a couple of tight tacks and some near hair-washing experiences for both Shane and Matt. Claire and Skipper Andy kept communications going so everyone was informed about what was happening, where the other boats were and where we were heading next…. important elements to maintaining positive, long-standing relationships and a strong sense of inclusion. We were all in this together after all!

Suffice to say, we triumphed in 5th place (out of 6 boats) and maybe didn’t quite manage the final race, although we cheered the Datum Electronics crew on while repeating to ourselves and any others who would listen…  ‘we didn’t get a good start’! However, by this time we were watching the final race from the upper deck with excellent hospitality provided by the events team at Island Sailing Club led on the day by wonderfully welcoming Emma.

What did we learn from the day?

Winning matters but getting involved, learning new skills and meeting great people are the really important things that make successful enterprises.

So, a big thank to all for a fabulous day, on and off the water at the fabulous Sonar Sailing Race Day, great to connect and re-connect with the Isle of Wight business community and congratulations to all the teams on the day…

AJ Wells & Sons Ltd / MedTec Design Services | Red Squirrel Property Shop | Eurovines | Isle of Wight Meat Company | Lawdit Solicitors | WRS Systems | Diametric | Robin Hill | Wootton Estate Agents | Blackgang Chine

Oh, and the third crew member… newbie to the Brightbulb Design team, welcome to Sallie who joins us to add her marketing, project management and corporate social responsibility expertise across the business, and who was in control of the jib and throat sweets for the event!

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