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

Aug 11, 2005 - 1505hrs UTC

1505hrs 11 Aug 2005 UTC 50’31”N 008’12”W

All y’all may get a message from Andy Rice saying that we could win this thing on handicap if we finish by 0220 on Saturday. I think he really means we could beat the line honours winner, Maximus. There are a lot of other boats still out on the course who could do the same and also beat us, so don’t get too excited.

Having said which, we will be Consulting frequently to ensure that we don’t miss any opportunity to go faster. At least until we run out of the good Dr Murphy’s medicament. No bloody sleep for the wicked – again. We have to average just over 5 knots to do it, I think. A gobsmackingly small possibility, given the bits we still have to sail through, but just on the cards.

So watch this space.

[ed: press release via Andy Rice (thanks):

Alex and Peter are storming along in the Fastnet. It has turned into a small-boat race. Here is an extract from the press release for Berrimilla followers:

Weather expert Mike Broughton’s analysis of the weather suggests the westerly breezes should hold steady for the next 48 hours. The wind could vary in strength from 10 to 15 knots over the next day, then start building during late Friday night.

Broughton’s forecast will be sweet music to the slowest boats in the fleet, still running downwind from the Fastnet Rock. Alex Whitworth and Peter Crozier were enjoying the best sailing conditions of the race this afternoon, their Brolga 33 Berrimilla making a very respectable 7 knots’ boatspeed in a 16-18 knot north-westerly. “We’re going like the clappers, this is by far the best breeze we’ve seen. We’ve been having a ball,” he said.

Whitworth and Crozier are not professional racers, but two friends on a global adventure. Having sailed their boat up from Sydney, they plan to sail back via the Cape of Good Hope to compete in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race this Christmas. Winning the Rolex Fastnet Race had never even entered their minds, and on hearing that they were in the running, Whitworth still refused to believe his ears. On current progress Berrimilla would cover the remaining 180 miles to Plymouth by 1730 Friday evening, and yet such is her handicap rating that she could still beat ICAP Maximus’s time if she arrived by 0220 hours Saturday morning. “I rate our chances of doing that no better than 2 per cent,” said Whitworth. “The boat you should be watching is Aye! We saw her earlier and she is sailing very well.”

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