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

Aug 09, 2005 - 1845hrs UTC

 1845hrs 09 Aug 2005 UTC 50’30”N 007’07”W

Here we are in unknown territory – we are some way past the point where I got to last time in 1961 in Leopard – scary stuff! Last time, we were in a force 9/10 storm just north of Lands End and ended up running down with it, with the genoa halyard jammed, the sail still up and every warp we had on the boat streaming behind us to slow us down. We found ourselves south west of the Scillies and ran out of time and retired, going back to theHelfordRiver. Quite a contrast – we’ve spent a lot of today in glassy calm with 2-3 knots of wind trying to keep the assy filled and drawing – we never stopped, but there was no speed registered on the log for a couple of hours – hand steering and fierce concentration.

Now in a 10 knot NEasterly and doing about 6 knots up the rhumb line. Woohoo! If it holds, we’ll be at the Rock tomorrow evening. It won’t, of course. We have no idea how we are doing – we’ve been close to lots of bigger boats but they all seem to be somewhat recreational so not really a good guide. No skeds, like in a Hobart, so we don’t know where the real competition is. We can see two other boats – both look larger than us but hard to tell.

From Joe S.

Hope all is going well with you on the voyage to the Rock.
I showed you the letter I sent to the Rolex mob amd asked them when they were aboard “”Hot Ice”” (in front of you at Lymington Yacht Haven) and they told me that it had been passed to whoever does these things to get a bit of coverage for the guys who arn’t always at the front and big. In fact, when we saw you off Hurst, you appeared to be doing bloody well even compared with the Maxis.
You kick arse and have a good trip!! Us plastic stink pots admire you greatly!
All the best, when we come to Sydney, we will give you a shout.

Thanks, Joe Sq, Peter C. and David – got your messages. Joe, we were going really well till your 2 plastic stinkpots went past making a true southern ocean swell just for us – all those heavyweights on board, I suppose. Took us till outside the Needles to recover… Thanks for making the point with the sponsors tho.

Both bearing up well – we’ve both missed out on sleep but when we do sleep, it’s pretty solid. 3 hours on, 3 off works well – we’re effectively sailing singlehanded for our watches and can’t afford to goof off. Get a bit bleary eyed at times. We can pull in the BBC on long wave out here, which helps to pass the time.

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