Road to the Route du Rhum 2018

The Full Story

Last Sunday in light breeze, the Race from la Trinite to Plymouth got under way. In the bay of Quiberon we had to do a 26nm long course around the cans before we were sent off through the channel of Teignuse just as the tide turned in our fafour. We had an alright start, suffered a bit in the dirty air of a proto after, but we commited to the right side of the first upwind leg. Rounding the first mark in the front pack we hoisted our big kite to round a rock in the south of the bay. At the end of this little costal course we were in in the top 5. Once we had passed the channel of teignuse the fleet tacked immediately on port to wait for the announced lefthand shift. The wind was slowly picking up and shifting more and more to the left, that we coud take direct course on the next headland, later easing our sails and preparing oure gennacker. Before nightfall we were under Gennacker in 12-14kn of wind still batteling with the few boats around us (824, 833, 823, 697..). We dicided to go very close to the islands of Glenants which was the shortest possible route, but not as fafoured by the tide as staying a bit further offshore as a couple of other boats did. The wind steadily picked up and we had changed from gennacker to code 5 and even to medium kite but then a raincloud came through  and with it a righthand shift, we found our selfs going realy fast but 20 degrees lower than we should have been, so we had no choice than changing back to the gennacker to make it up to the lighthouse of the Raz de Sein. We arrived at this lighthouse just some boatlength behind Teamwork 824 but then came the error, we stayed a bit to high after the lighthouse and had too much tide against us, so teamwork pulled away. We thought we had chosen the wrong sail so we changed from medium to big kite, which proved to be too big some twenty minutes later as the wind picked up a bit again. After passing the Four again under big kite we were off in to the channel 110miles of downwind sailing with 20-25kn wind;-).

The fleet had stretzched out a bit and it became difficult to see the opposition. It took us a while to find the right settings to go quick, in the end we were under big kite and one reef in the main going downwind with 11-14kn. Both of us were sitting all the way at the back of the boat to keep the bow out of the water, all the gear in the boat was also stacked right back. After having gained a few miles on Teamwork at the end of the downwind, the harbour entrance prooved to be difficult.  The entrance we wanted to take was blocked by a submarine which was entering the harbour. We had to go quite high to make it to the western entrance and the wind was picking up aswell. It got to the point where we blew the tackline to pass the lighthouse at the end of the breakwater. We arrived under full sails on the finish line, not quite realizing how little space there is behind to manoever. After having tied up in the marina we got a very nice welcome in the clubhouse of the Royal Western Yacht Club with a pint of beer and a plate of lasagne!

Over all we are very happy with our race the only regret is that Teamwork managed to pull away quite a bit. Congratulations to Justine and Milan for a very good race!

On Sunday 1200 the UK-Fastnet gets under Way 563nm, boats are ready just the food needs to be put on tomorrow.

The link to the Traker will be:

http://www.rwyc.org/ukfastnet650-2012-tracking/

 

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