Rock n Roll!
Well , what an eventful start. We watched Tonnerre sail into (moored) Groupama while heading out for the ID gate. Whoops! Looked bad as T's bowsprit punctured the bow of Groupama. Good to see both boats able to make the start.
We we're without drama. The jib halyard let go the top of the jib. All safely gathered in and Iain valiantly climbed the mast to retrieve halyard - as we surfed down the mid solent....
we watched the big boats zip past, some with heavy Asails flying, Groupama in a ball of spray, no wonder they can't see anything. We decided to follow them and go for out Heavy Asail. 10 very hairy minutes later, a near broach on a big gust and the sheet flew off. Ahhh! Sadly the clew snapped around and gashed 2metre rip out of the sail. It will have to stay in its bag now for the rest of the race.
30mins later, Celox's mast collapsed. Poor sods. At least it didn't happen further out, like in the North Sea.
Now we're happy sailing in champagne conditions, 30-40kts wind poled out Jibtop and boat speed averaging 10kts. Graeme holds the record surf at 14.2kts. This will be one fast race, records will surely fall if boats can get round.
Soon the tide will turn fair and hopefully the sea will settle a bit. We can see Puma on our starboard side and the other 40.7s a bit behind them. Looks like we were the only boat in class to attempt spinnaker. Well, now we know why they didn't.