FROM 1-17. Fastnet Race 2005 (with qualifier)

Aug 09, 2005 - 0845hrs UTC

0845hrs 09 Aug 2005 UTC 50’13”N 006’19”W

25 miles out into the Celtic sea and still with some much bigger boats. Either they’ve got it very wrong or we got lucky somewhere – we would not normally expect to see anyone at this stage in aHobartrace and we are the second slowest boat in the fleet.

Fluky sailing with dropping NE breeze, about 8-10 kts and we have the assy up, getting 5+ knots with apparents around 9-10,pointing at the Fastnet about 140 miles away. Just has to be good for the overall result.

A tiny finch-like bird – yellowish green chest, olive/brown/grey feathers, short fine pointy beak has just landed on the backstay – will send photo when we get back in range.

Tom & Vicky, Peter, Hugh, thanks for wise advice – seems to be working out ok so far. Just hope this zephyr holds out for the next three days or so. We leave the Fastnet to port from here, then the Pantaenius Buoy about 7 miles SW of the rock and the Scillies to port and Plymouth breakwater.

A proper breakfast Berri style has been consumed and we’re on the case…We have 2 cans of Dr Murphy’s medicinal potion per day for six days, so we must finish by Saturday.

[ed: some relevant links: here and here]… a classic quote from the Fastnet website:

Alcohol seems to lie at the heart of Berrimilla’s success in this race so far. This doublehanded 33-footer, sailed by Australian friends Alex Whitworth and Peter Crozier, is beating boats far larger. In the absence of other crewmembers, Whitworth admits to “consulting with Dr Murphy in the day and Dr Gordon in the evening”, referring to his two morale-boosting tipples. There isn’t much rest for these two sailors, as the three hours on/ three hours off arrangement isn’t always feasible when the sailing gets difficult. “We’re trying to run with a very flat spinnaker at the moment, which is taking all of our concentration. But we just passed one of the Global Challenge boats [more than twice Berrimilla’s length], so we’re going well.”

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