SPINNAKER PACKING

Not long to go now. Only 160 miles left to New York. After the excitement of being first we are now holding on with grim determination to 3rd place. Visit Finland and Goldcoast are ahead of us with Geraldton behind. We are determined to make up miles on the boats in front whilst increasing our distance from Geraldton. It’s so exciting to be in this position so close to the end of the race. A first for us and well deserved. We want to do well not just for us but especially for Flav, he has worked so hard and given this race his all.

Just to show us that life is not all plain sailing (forgive the pun – it is amazing how many day to day terms are sailing related) we have had our fair share of challenges in the past 24 hours. First the strop that connects the spinnaker sheet to the end of the pole gave up the ghost and we were left with our spinnaker flying out from the boat like Biggles’s scarf. The on watch were quick to react and within 15 minutes we had dropped the spinnaker (fortunately still intact) down the hatch and hoisted another one. When you are fighting for every last mile speed of sail changes makes such a huge difference. Everything went smoothly and with so little fuss you would have thought it was planned. Our second and sadly more frustrating and concerning challenge was when, during the night (why do these things always happen in the dark?) we were merrily flying the medium weight spinnaker and we came into a squall. What had been a manageable breeze became gusts of up to 30 knots. This blew our mid weight kite (the Webbo sail repair team and Karen have a bit of work to do sadly. Our poor spinnaker has parted entirely from the tape (seem) down one side and also has a generous rip.). A hasty drop ensued and the Yankee 2 was poled out for us to eek everything we could from the wind and the boat. We were lucky, the wind had moved round and we would have been sailing under white sails anyway so all was not lost. Since then we have hoisted the heavy weight kite and were doing very nicely thank you until the halyard snapped. My watch were just enjoying a post lunch chat before bed when ‘BANG’ the halyard snapped and the kite came down. No rest for the wicked, we packed it (the Italian way!) before going to bed.

I’ve just come down from our final watch of the day (6pm – 10pm). In this watch we have gone from hurtling along under our heavy weight (hoisted after our post lunch re-pack) at 13 knots to desperately trying to fill the light weight kite (yep, you guessed it, another kite drop and re-pack – what fun!) as the breeze has completely disappeared. On the up-side the sunset was stunning and the subsequent stars and moon are beautiful so it’s not all bad but when we are desperately trying to cling onto 3rd place a bit more wind would be nice. Keep your fingers crossed for some wind and a quick run for the last few miles.

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4 Responses to SPINNAKER PACKING

  1. chris cowen says:

    Keep at it Guys, fantastic effort. Fingers are crossed and praying for strong winds for you. So exciting!! Thats as a reader let alone being on board !

  2. alysoun says:

    Great news. Keep up the great work and well done Flav.

  3. Pingback: SPINNAKER PACKING | Roberts Round The World | Sailing's Everest

  4. SRW says:

    Reblogged this on Sailing's Everest and commented:
    Brilliant

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