Crew member on GBR8191R British Soldier
As at 0800 FRI
We started thursday with some welcome phone signal at the Scillies but also
the disappointing news that Relentless had gone north of the line across
the Irish sea and gone ahead. However, after a brief "sad-on" we rekindled
our determination to catch up. The wind filled in yesterday afternoon and
we started enjoying the sleigh ride home hoping that 'Mr Broach' or 'Mrs
Wrap' did not rear their ugly heads.
The wind built to 20 knots from the west and we held our largest spinnaker,
the A2, and began seeing speeds of 12-15 knots on the log - it was a
question of hanging on hard in the gusts and trying to keep the boat
straight and upright, maximising the blinding downwind speed the J111 is
famed for. As dusk drew near we knew we were in for tough night to hold the
kite; the sea had built up and winds were gusting 25 knots, and the night
was pitch black. With all 5 required on deck for every gybe and more than a
few wraps and broaches it was a busy night. Trimming and helming required
100% concentration throughout. Come dawn, we are all exhausted but with an
average speed through the water of 9 knots overnight it was worth it - and
we seem to have taken a valuable few miles from Relentless.
The finish line is in sight not although still a good few hours of sailing
to go. The crew will need a health drive as we seem to have no ration
breakfasts left but about 80 apples!
The race with Relentless has been relentless and they are proving to be
tough opponents. Whatever happens we are looking forward to catching up
with them for a beer at the end.