Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race - Day Three - Afternoon Update
9 August, 2006 4:21:00 PM BST | Racetime 01:22:21:00
For the majority of the twenty-five remaining yachts in the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race, the next 24 hours are about to get a lot tougher as the wind filters down from the north-north west and the sea state builds. After this morning's medical evacuation from Puma Logic of mate Sara Stanton and the retirement of the Volvo 60 Cutting Edge on Venom due to a torn mainsail, race control received the following message from the crew of Simon Hennings' Alice 2 who had suffered rigging damage and were forced to divert to the Scilly Isles to effect repairs:
"At approximately 0530 this morning we sustained damage to our rigging and had to seek shelter in the Scilly Isles to rectify the problem. We moored along side in St Mary's and then moved to a swing mooring due to depth constraints, we will be on our way again at approximately 11:15 BST and will inform you in better detail of the stop over as soon as possible. All crew are fine and well although a little annoyed!"
This afternoon, however, race control received a relayed message via skipper Clem Jones on Jeu d'Esprit concerning the retirement of Ben Goodland and Mike Yates' multihull Team Eberspacher who were concerned that their forestay might break. Team Eberspacher has turned around and expect to be in Falmouth tomorrow morning.
The changing winds have meant the leaders are now punching into lumpy seas off the west coast of Ireland just to the north east of Mizen Head with Jonny Malbon's Artemis still holding a slender 11 mile lead over J-P Chomette's Solune. The current leaders in the divisions are chopping and changing almost hourly with Piet Vroon's Formidable 3 heading IRC A, Noonmark VI of Mike Gilburt atop IRC B, Nigel Tuttle's Sidney topping IRC C and Sevenstar Director Harry Heijst's Winsome currently shading IRC D.
As we go into Wednesday evening, meteorologist Mike Broughton from winningwinds.com predicts, "a tough beat for all the boats that should favour the swing-keelers of Artemis Ocean Racing and Kingspan-Chieftain. Winds could reach 30 knots and the north-west tip of Ireland is looking very lumpy indeed. A strong north-westerly pressure gradient will cover all the yachts through Thursday and the sea-state will keep on building."
As the race progresses the RORC will continue to bring daily updates and position reports from the boats highlighting the highs and lows of this premier coastal yacht race. All yachts competing in the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race have been fitted with a tracking device developed by the RORC in conjunction with OC Technology. Yacht positions will be updated hourly and can be followed on the Royal Ocean Racing Club's dedicated micro site accessed via www.rorc.org
Quotes from around the yachts -
Race Leader: Artemis Ocean Racing - Skipper Jonny Malbon
"We passed to the south-west of Mizen Head at 1152 BST 09/08/06. At 1154 our position is N51.20 - W10.21. Breeze is 15-19 knots from the NNW. All well on board, but would like to be going downwind again.
Morning Report - Artemis Ocean Racing
Good morning! It's all good onboard Artemis today after a fairly full-on night. Breeze steadily built yesterday afternoon, until we found ourselves with up to 27 knots. We are down to one reef and the small Solent, banging away to weather with Solune hot on our heels. It's a pretty good motivator when you can constantly see your rivals, and know that they will capitalise on the smallest slip up. So that has been our driving force, to keep our slender lead and extend. It seems to be working at the moment, but we are not complacent - these upwind conditions are not where we excel, and I think we are all looking forward to being able to crack some sheets, and stop head-banging into this horrid seaway. We are about 25 miles west of the Fastnet right now, and 15 miles south west of Mizen Head, our next reporting point. Life is good onboard, and I think the routine is becoming normal again - work, eat sleep, work eat sleep, work eat work eat, and then maybe some sleep!! Seen a few dolphins so far, but nothing major, although the boys did pass an oil rig early this morning, Nobby said his Dad was going to buy one - cool... So, onwards and upwards, and pray for these reaching conditions that numbers (Will) has been banging on about. I think that would make all of us happy, especially Artemis herself, who has been getting pounded all night, and could do with some more relaxing sailing. That's all for now, breeze is up, so might be looking at a reef...Cheers, Jonny and the boys on Artemis.
Solune - Chris Tibbs
We passed Mizen Head at 1300. All is well on board, sun shining, wind on the nose just waiting for a westerly to help us on our way! P.S. Too bouncy to type much today!
Delivered from vessel "Norddeutsche Vermoegen" 2006, August 8th:
"Our first 24 hours went quite well, we had a mixture of beautiful spinnaker rides through the night, some calm wind periods around noon and now we are on the tack under Genoa III. The crew is well off and has adapted quite well to the watch system. All of us are happy that our only German competitor Aquis Granus was not able to stay ahead of us!!! Best regards, NV Hamburg.
Unlimited Sailing / John Merricks: Ploughing through the Irish Sea
Day two on board Unlimited Sailing/ John Merricks and the team are leading their division and in fifth place for line honours in the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race. The team have made it into the Irish Sea, knocked off around 250 miles of the 1780 mile journey and are on their way across to Ireland heading for the Fastnet Rock which they will round before heading north up the west coast. Guildford's Ed Hill, a trimmer and watch leader, got us up to speed on their last 24 hours. "We've put in some good miles over the last 24 hours. We had light winds yesterday along the south coast of England and a beautiful sail in the evening in 8-9 knots and sunshine. The boat seemed to be enjoying the conditions until the wind dropped off. "We got past Lands End at about midnight and knew that the wind was going to build and we were in for a bit of weather. We're still having trouble with our internet so are unable to see where we are in relation to the fleet, but we did cross quite closely to another boat in the middle of the night but it was too dark to identify it. "We went past the Scillies at about 3 am, when it started to rain which was followed by the wind increasing to about 20 knots with strong gusts which is what we've still got with us now. We had a fairly cold, wet night, there's quite a bit of water in the boat but is still sailing well. "We've seen a few cases of seasickness, generally from people off watch but still on deck. We've got really lumpy seas and it's quite hard to sit on deck, tired, cold with the boat going up and down and not feel a bit ill. "Today we're just going to keep the boat going, stop her from banging around too much and get across to Ireland. Spirits are good on deck, with a bit of banter on the rail and we're just pushing forward."
Extract from Global Yacht Racing EH01 - Ten Girls in a Boat for Sail 4 Cancer Day 2
Alcohol units-2 (approximate content of rum flapjacks).
Nails broken -2.
The day started off being more sunbathing weather than sailing weather. That soon changed after a lovely lunch of pasties - quite appropriate considering we were in Cornish water. The wind picked up + we gathered speed. We could still see some other yachts on the horizon behind us and we'd had reports that the race leaders were way ahead-bet they don't have as much food as us though! At one point today both the skipper and the first mate were spotted touching rope - they were officially doing some work!
Approaching Isles of Scilly
Number of tactical chunders- 1 (navigator)
Contracts to kill - 1 (foredeck's response to an hour of continuous sail changes at the request of the helmswoman)
Number 4 jib up, 1 reef in, doing just under 8 knots-nice!
After staying dry during her spell at the pointy end, Laura got back in the cockpit and spilt her drinking water down the insides of her foulies! Alex won the first game of eye-spy - with h for hats rather than h2o. A benefit to having 10 ladies on board is that when requesting weather info from the coastguard they are very happy to oblige. We're just approaching Bishop's Rock, probably the last area we can get signal until Ireland.
Pete Summers - Skipper Jaguar Logic - Reflex 38
In a similar vein to the blogs submitted by Jeu d'Esprit we too have had a wonderfully fulfilling personal hygiene experience. For hot shower read "baby wipe on deck", for organic turkey with new potatoes and basil cream sauce read "cup-a-soup", and for bacon and eggs on toast read "marmite" (ugh!) on white (we don't have a toaster). We wish them continued luxuries and strong racing, we're not at all bitter. 24 hours down and Muckle and Flugga watches have settled down well. Muckle Flugga is the most northerly lighthouse in the UK and we will be sailing past it sometime. Derivatives of the watch names, Muggle and Flucka, etc, are already in use. We find ourselves approaching the skipper's home territory of Plymouth, with lovely weather. Crew well, laughing and smiling with bikinis on (for those brave enough gender not an issue). We still see some other boats around us, though are losing sight of the nearest as we pull away from them. Hoping for the wind to turn to the North as our track has taken us closer to the shore than we planned, as a Northerly would be to our advantage. Crew watching on with confidence/naivety as skipper Pedro and mate Peter mend sails on the start line and mull over instructions as to how to fit together a water-maker after it stopped working. Plenty of loo rolls on board, unlike our sister yacht Puma who left it on the quayside. One of Flugga watch works for Andrex and is happy to give production instructions over the VHF. Computer is often in la-la land along with the female contingent of the crew - both are likely to end up overboard unless they change their ways!
Night Owl - (Prima 38)
Passed Start Point, which for Ed brought back memories of Dartmouth days in the Royal Navy. The water-maker continues to cause dramas, but is finally producing about 20 litres an hour - so we can think about ditching some of the quarter ton of water we added to the boat at the last minute when it wasn't working. At our first 24-hour crew chat we decided that one watch with two bow people was a mistake, so Ed moved them round - he now has Keith and Ginny, and Richard is leading the formidable team of Fluffy Simon and Katharine. The wind is now on the nose as we head for the Lizard, so it'll be a sunny evening tacking south west. Fluffy's famous Thai Green Curry is for dinner tonight.