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Crew member on GBR8191R British Soldier


Written by Crew member on GBR8191R British Soldier Sunday, 24 August 2014 09:29

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As at 1200 Sat

British Soldier crossed the Royal Yacht Squadron line at 1718:08 on Fri 22

Aug - an elapsed time of 11 days 08 hours 38:08 minutes.

The last day's racing was frustrating - the Isle of Wight took a long time

to round due to flukey winds and adverse tide, especially as we could taste

the finish! We were delighted to be met by Jed Cunningham on his RIB with a

Roger the photographer at Ryde for the final beat in, and they were kind

enough to stick with us for the long beat to the Squadron line, handing us

2 bottles of champagne immediately after the finish which were rapidly


We made our way to Trinity Landing where we prepared to come alongside a

pontoon crowded with people - little did we know they were there to welcome

us. As we neared, Relentless's crew gave a huge 3 cheers. The next 20

minutes was frenetic - Many photographs, handshakes and congratulations.

The CEO of J boats worldwide seemed interested to hear our tale and the

RORC team gave us a most generous welcome. We were utterly humbled by the


Most comments we received were along the lines of "only 5 crew, and in that

boat!" With Relentless's 10 crew stood around us, admitting the pressure

they had been under from us since seeing us sail straight through the gale

and emerge ahead of them on the west coast of Ireland, and hounding them

for 24 hours in the channel (they were nervously watching our speed which

at times was 2 knots greater than theirs!), it gradually dawned on us that

we had perhaps exceeded expectations. At the very least we had had the

race of a lifetime, certainly helped by the outstanding racing from

Relentless in those last few days and hours.

Saga finished around midnight and having already had a few beers we gave

them a raucous reception, and despite wanting to slip immediately for

Hamble we managed to drag them to the pub for "one drink"! Rare finished as

we slipped Cowes this morning and we paused to congratulate them. Never

mind 5 crew, double handing (with no autohelm since Scotland) is an

absolutely amazing achievement. Lula Belle was also on her way to the

finish line this morning- another inspirational 2 handed performance.

So a final thank you, for all your support and encouragement. It really did

make it easier to keep going knowing we were being rooted for!

Phil, Will, George, Joe, and Matt

RB&I 2014 British Soldier


some stats!

2nd in Class 2, 7th overall of 18 including 7 Did not finish

Distance sailed: 1981 nm

max boatspeed: 19 knots

Average boatspeed in the Channel: 9 knots

max windspeed: 45 knots

Sails used: every sail in the locker!

Mugs lost at sea: 3

Max heel: water halfway up side decks

Max buckets bailed from below in one sitting: 7

Most hilarious moment: Gorgeous George being hit in the face by a fish

Champagne drunk at sea: 5.25 litres

Most serious error of judgement: Will accidentally using the A5 spinnaker

as toilet roll

Most useful item we almost forgot: Ski goggles!


Crew member on GBR5236R Rare


Written by Crew member on GBR5236R Rare Friday, 22 August 2014 19:51

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Hi all,

Things are cooling down finally here after an earlier error. not hard to Do When completely nackered After barely sleeping The night Before by playing with The TSS and a number of sail changes. ah Well, The God's will decide What Will happen.

Other Then thAt, Things Are Great on board and We Have made The Best of The Good weather and spring cleaned The boat. I Say We, It Was more Ian As I Was stuck to The helm As We Still Don't Have an autopilot.few Other Things Have broken making life That bit less comfortable such As The Now missing wind wand, dodgy keyboard (typing This On The Samsung pad) and The seemingly endless supply of The slightly less favourite meal The yellow Curry. Still The All day breakfast Is keeping morale up As I sign This Off to tend to The Lunch of steak and vegetables.


- Don't forget to Keep supporting CLIC On Just giving (RARE) you Can Also access This link Though Our Facebook page (RAREyachting)

- All Welcome to see the finish Hopefully Tomorrow afternoon.It's easy for You to check, Look up The race On yellow brick.



ps we have had a fantastic afternoon run, gobbling the miles



Crew member on GBR8191R British Soldier


Written by Crew member on GBR8191R British Soldier Friday, 22 August 2014 14:11

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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.


Crew member on GBR8191R British Soldier


Written by Crew member on GBR8191R British Soldier Thursday, 21 August 2014 21:20

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As at 0600 Thu

The wind frustrated us all of Wednesday. With the promise of 10 knots now

and again, but mostly staying at 5-8, we have had our two spinnakers and

the No.1 Jib up and down in a bid for boatspeed. Thanks to Team Army our

new A2 looks great and is giving us every last drop of boat speed we can

gain. Our slow progress has worried us, with the knowledge of Relentless

hot on our heels. Meanwhile, crew are taking on a gradually more unkempt

appearance. "Beardwatch" is a full time activity. George's Zoidberg wisp is

coming along well; Barnesy has cultivated a ratty looking

number; Will resembles a spanish drug smuggler, Joe's looks like the Team

America Arab disguise - he is now known as "tufty", and the skipper's

mexican tache is thickening daily. Our wispy beards and wild hair is now

often paired with manical wild eyed bouts of hysterical laughter that occur

regularly, over things that are perhaps not that hysterically funny. And we

have run out of Ribena which has caused much angst among the younger

members of the crew.

Much sleeping has occurred thanks to calm conditions, which is seemingly

not able to relieve the fatigue that is affecting us all now, perhaps as a

result of the lull in the weather and general lower stress conditions.

Ration consumption is high now due to boredom and the luxury of two extra

man's rations; the daily haribo issue is consumed by 0900 every morning;

and so for the loved ones expecting us to lose a few pounds on this trip,

you may be in for a disappointment... !


Crew member on GBR8191R British Soldier


Written by Crew member on GBR8191R British Soldier Tuesday, 19 August 2014 23:10

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As at 2100 Tues 19 Aug

Dolphins, Spinnakers and sun! So the weather has finally turned in our

favour and we had an early start with all crew on deck to pop the A5 and

then the A2 spinnaker. We gradually got into routine and have managed to

dry out significantly. The salt water strip washes are not for the faint

hearted though! Phil's elite athlete stature was unfortunately seen by

all! Skippers toothbrush also got used for second time of the trip, first

being to try to clean salt from satphone circuit boards. Will has seen his

feet for the first time in 4 days - stage 1 trenchfoot is an

understatement! Barnsey has been working on his mahogany tan and generally

looking gorgeous although very Zoolander. Joe has had a hard day trimming

and holds the record for most ginger nuts eaten in one day. George has

avoided aquatic life today however his aroma seems to have attracted many

dolphins. Some great footage has been taken on the new ASA GoPro (Thanks

Alan). Lunch today was a lovely chorizo and pasta with a garlic and tomato

sauce by Will "Gordon" Naylor. Yum! What is not yum is the immense smell of

feet in the cabin as everyone is drying their socks out.

Bottle of champagne at westerly point this evening. All recovered after a

day sleeping and minimum manning on deck to trim the kite and steer. Ready

for the next few days of hard trimming, reading the wind and driving

carefully. All in a day of sun, dolphins, drying out and a bit of recovery

ready for the final push.


Crew member on IRL3607 Lula Belle


Written by Crew member on IRL3607 Lula Belle Tuesday, 19 August 2014 14:24

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We have been to far from shore over the last few days communications have not been possible

Days 4 and 5 were just a hard slog against the tides and wind to get to the Shetlands but we finally got there. We rounded Muckle Flugga but knew there was a rough weather system coming from west. We had to decide to take shelter or head out. We decided to head west and we would be able to cross on southerly winds to the centre then head south on the north westerly winds the other side.

This would cost us a lot more time but it would be safer. Lula Belle 2 handed does not preform well up wind. With the lack of weight we get blown cross ways in the water.

We went west and it was a hard slog as our southerly winds were more south west and with wind it was very difficult to keep it west and not north.

Finally a day later and the winds died. We knew we were in the eye of it. On the way the Shetland Coastguard radio had moved from force 8 to force 9 and then warned as system had passed Faeroe Islands the winds were severe storm force 10. We were very apprehensive. We readied the Boat with 3 reefs and storm sail and sat and waited. Two hours later for shift change Brian came up and asked for report. I said it's like been stood up for a date. Your sitting here with all your gear and your date has not arrived. 2 hours later when storm hit Brian said your date has arrived and she's nasty.

It was a nasty storm. I don't know if going west cost time but I was so glad we were meeting this from the north and not coming sideways to this storm. As we still have no wind instruments from day 2 we don't know how strong the winds were but the waves were enormous. There were massive waves from the north. These were not to bad as we could surf these. The small waves from the west were the dangerous ones. As they hit the stern of the Boat they would cause her to turn to wind to round up. All we could do was to ride it out. Later the northerly waves got quite scary as they started to break behind us and water would fill the cockpit and on occasions in the wash boards. These were scary. They came in sets of 3 every 20 minutes.

Then to make things worst waves from the east started. These were far more dangerous, as the west waves only caused round ups, these east ones caused us to accidentally gybe. And as anyone knows an accidental gybe is dangerous but in force 10 it's not nice.

We had to turn the Boat more to weather and suffer the round ups as this was the safest option. We don't know the wind strength but we were doing 16knts boat speed at one point with only a 3 reefed main and no head sail. We battled this for 12 hours. When it finally subsided. This was a night to remember but we were glad it was over.

We arrived at sunrise to the majestic sight of the Sun rising over St Kilda. The wind was about 20 and we had reached the half way point. We have no idea how we are doing in the race but now we have the A5 up and we are pushing for the home county of Mayo and Belmullet. With the speeds we are doing we should be there by Tuesday morning about 5am after 8 days. Sailing now with the kite was exciting but hard work. When your 2 hour shift finishes your arms feel like they are going to fall off your shoulders.

Then Monday night day 8 disaster strikes. Due to wind shifts we were back to white sails only and then the wind died. This was expected and really we needed to go to kites. But the night was so black we did not really dance flying the kites.

We have no wind instruments. And normally we would pick a cloud, star or something to point at but the sky is only black. No reference point. Very unstable ways to fly a kite. We took the decision at 2 am leave it so with main only we proceeded. By 4 am the sky had broked a little so we went for a hoist. Hoisted the brand new A2 for Brian to say there's a rip in that and there was. No sooner had he said those words than it completely shredded. Not one spin on the new kite.

We then put up the A3 and went with that. I went to bed and Brian started his shift. 20 minutes later I was awoke been turned upside down as the Boat broached. It was not righting so I rushed up to help Brian. We finally stoped it flogging and the Boat righted only for us to see this kite now also had come apart.

Completely deflated we got the kite back on board and decided to think about things. We were heading west so decided to gybe to Belmullet. Everything was going so good. We were screaming down south it looked like our racing now just started and our two weapons of kites are gone. What next.

Well as we gybed to Belmullet the track for the main sheet shattered. Bits of track everywhere. Bearings everywhere. Brian and I just looked at each other. We had come through everything that could have ruined our race and here on a mild night of no more than 16/18 knts of wind everything is going wrong.

So here we are on day 9. A lame duck. As always our main priority is safety of us and vessel and we believe nothing damaged or broken pose a threat to that We have decided to try to finish. We have one small kite with a repair done to it left and our white sails.

It has to be said it's doubtful we will be able to finish but. We will Give it our best shot.

Lula Belle.


Crew member on GBR8191R British Soldier


Written by Crew member on GBR8191R British Soldier Monday, 18 August 2014 22:53

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From 0336 Sat

As at 2220 Mon

It has been tough going since Muckle Flugga. As races go, the last 3 days

have been some of the hardest for all of us, regardless of experience. We

are glad to still be racing and we will also just be glad to complete the

course. Having had no comms we have wondered how the other boats have fared

and hope that none had difficulties in the bad weather. And having only

just got signal we had no idea where anyone is in the fleet so are still

sailing hard.....


We were beating from the outset on Saturday, and by late afternoon were

hard on the wind with not much sail - storm jib and 3 reefs. seeing us

through the rising 30 knots or so. Our light J boat was not built for

punching headfirst into big offshore seas but nonetheless the old

catchphrase "sail her like you stole her!" was wheeled out and the helm

was urged to sail hard and fast! Sleep was a question of lying below in wet

oilskins and deluding yourself for a few hours that you might be asleep. It

was on Saturday the Satphone made a bid for a small puddle of bilge water

and falling off a large wave bounced it from its safe place - and despite

being instantly fished out it was not happy. Even a gentle dry-out in the

oven (some were highly amused at "baking the satphone") was not enough to

coax it back into life, leaving us without communications. A serious error

but with a forecast of NW gale arriving soon there were other issues closer

to hand.


Early sunday morning saw the wind steadily rise from the NW. We held our

storm jib and 3 reefs for as long as possible but at around 0900 off the

Isle of Lewis it rose to 35 and we were broaching regularly - so the

trysail quickly went up. NW winds of gale gusting severe gale threw up huge

rolling seas seemingly to the masthead height (but were probably more like

10m). With everyone already tired from nearly two days of beating into a

gale the skipper took the helm and headed SW, weaving in and out of big

breaking seas which could have engulfed the boat if caught at the wrong

angle. At one point George, allowing Phil a quick break, managed to get

taken off his feet by a wave, which in turn set off his lifejacket, much to

everyone's amusement and his irritation! Reaching St Kilda (our turning

point 30 miles NW of the Isle of Lewis) after ten hours and around 100

miles under trysail was an incredible sight. 40-45 knots of wind driving

mountainous seas into these huge islands of rock wreathed in mist and spray

was as terrifying as it was spectacular, as we surfed past at a cautious

distance that felt far too close. To say we were relieved to turn downwind

then having escaped injury or damage would be an understatement.


Now past St Kilda, we are finally able to drive off the wind

for the longest time in a week - the boat is now not permanently

sideways! Since

then the winds have dropped steadily to a gusty 12- 20 knts, the orange

sails are away and we are surfing our way down towards the western coast of

Ireland. While putting away the trysail, a fish jumped out of the water and

hit George in the face at the wheel which was a highlight of the day! Now

all of his clothes smell of fish (as well as everything else they already

smelt of). We have managed to get a new record speed for the trip as well

at 18.4 knts! Morale is up now that the sun is finally out, and we start to

think about the final days of the race and enjoy the ride downwind to

Ireland. And as we tidy the boat a "lost property" box has been

established, although mostly filled with only Will's kit so far..

British Soldier.


Crew member on GBR8191R British Soldier


Written by Crew member on GBR8191R British Soldier Monday, 18 August 2014 21:00

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British Soldier Update,

The crew have made good time since the last update, they are approx. 40

miles from black rock in second place and only 4 miles behind the other IRC

2 boat to at this late stage all is to place for over the next few days.

The forecast is for lighter winds for the next 24 hours than they have

really had for the whole race with a mild GF5 dropping to a 3-4 tomorrow

(tuesday). This will hopefully allow then to get a few hours kip to

recharge the batteries and sort any running repairs they may have to make

to boat or crew.

The 7 days since the start will have the crew tired and aching from

constantly being bettered and drenched and fighting to keep the boat alfoat

and on course, they have achieved a truely impressive piece of sailing.

Nothing has been heard from the boat so we assume that they are

concentrating on picking up the 4 miles between them and Relentless who

managed to catch up this afternoon.

The crew have been sailing for 7 days in strong and recently Gale Force

winds, having rounded the Outer Hebredies and are now heading for the West

Coast of Ireland. They have been constantly battered in this race,

especially since the Hebredies in solid Force 8 winds. They are making

their down the West coast of Ireland, then across towards the Lizard and

down the English channel to finish in Cowes, they are currently in 2nd

place in the IRC 2 and 7th overall in an International fleet of

professional and very good amateur racers. A lot of the yachts have retired

including the Sir Robin Knox Johnson.

British Soldier is skippered by a junior Capt, Phil Caswell and is manned

by acrew of youngsters. Their watch system, with only 5 crew on board means

they mainly will sleep on deck getting smashed by the waves.

They have 650 miles to go and depending on the wind will finish in 5-6 days


As Sailing Secretary, I would like to say how proud I am of their


Lt Col (Retd) Alan Flavell MBE


Crew member on GER5555 Bank von Bremen


Written by Crew member on GER5555 Bank von Bremen Monday, 18 August 2014 18:50

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After all the rough days we have a wonderful sailing day; and most important

we could dry our clothes. What a wonderful feeling to have dry boots and


Under Genakker we sail with 11kn in sunny and warm conditions, who could ask

for more.

Tomorrow morning we will see the Scillys and then the final leg towards

Cowes. We all aboard are happy that we did the Sevenstar Round Britain and

Ireland Race and boat and crew had no major incidences.

Now we are fevering to give our best for the last leg to Cowes.

Carol Smolawa

Skipper "Bank von Bremen"


Crew member on NED7576 La Promesse


Written by RORC Sunday, 17 August 2014 12:54

Race Committee,

It is with great regret that we have to retire from the race. :-(

Despite the whole village of Stornoway willing to help we have not been able so far to repair the main in such a way that we can rejoin the race and, more important, pull the throttle to the level of racing.

We'll spent today preparing the boat for her delivery back to homeport and expect to leave Stornoway monday morning early heading for Bishop rock through the Irish Sea.

We have noted the race in our mental log's as `unfinished business' and will try to come to the start in four years.

The disappointment is there. But manned with huge portions of fresh scallops and a solid Scottish breakfast this morning.

Regards, and back to channel sixteen,

JanKees & Bart

o/b La Promesse


Member of Support Team of Relentless on Jellyfish


Written by Member of Support Team of Relentless on Jellyfish Sunday, 17 August 2014 12:13

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*Relentless Crew Update*

by Chris Radford

Got this message by text from Relentless sent at 10.38 this morning

*JJ boat and crew safe and well. on J4 making for kilda. Tom*

Also just had another text at 1300 confirming all fine.


Crew member on GBR8191R British Soldier


Written by Crew member on GBR8191R British Soldier Sunday, 17 August 2014 08:25

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British Soldier has made good progress through some foul weather over the

last 12 hours. They have passed the next waypoint, due north of Stornaway

and are approx. 30 miles behind the leader of the IRC Class 2 - good going

for the conditions.

The next 18 hours will be pretty tough (swell between 5 and 9 metres)for

them as the wind remains GF7-8 until about midnight tonight. There will

probably not be an update from the boat until this weather system passes

and they have had time to sort themselves out.


Member of Support Team of Relentless on Jellyfish


Written by Member of Support Team of Relentless on Jellyfish Saturday, 16 August 2014 23:33

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The weather update this evening shows the weather for the next 36 hours

will be much as expected earlier today. There is a low 988mb currently

centered west of Shetland 60 55.00N 003 45.00W. This is expected to

track east to be centered over Stavanger by 2200 on Sunday.

Metoffice buoys K5 are currently showing 18 knots at 280 and K7 is

currently showing 30 knots at 320. This shows the expected situation

emerging. the wind is lighter near the cyclonic centre of the low and

stronger on the edge of the low. The wind at K7 has veered NW as well as


You can check the current wind strengths and wave heights at Metoffice

buoys via this wind chart

As the low goes east the isobars get a further compressed to the west of

the low and this will produce northerly winds with a base level of 30-35

knots and gusts of 40-45 knots. The wave heights are currently showing as

4.0m on K5 and 5.3m on K7 and this is expected to build to 6.2m wave height

by 1400 on Sunday.

The metoffice is reporting winds Force 6 to 8 with a severe gale 9 at

times. This forecast is consistent with these wind strengths. They also

report sea state will go from rough to very rough (4m-6m) and occasionally

sea state high (6m-9m). The wave models suggest that the sea state may

touch the definition fo high (6m-9m) but it will be at the lower end around


The wind has started veering round from SW to NW. It is expected to be

firmly in the NW by 0400 Monday and then continue veering to be N by 1000.

the strongest winds seem to be expected between 1000 and 1800 on Sunday.

These winds will be from the N and will be behind the boats still racing.

From Midnight Sunday the wind should start to drop quite rapidly and will

be under 25 knots by 0600 Monday morning and will continue to decline

through the day to 15 knots in the afternoon. From 0200 on Monday expect

the wind to start backing to NW as well as declining in strength.

Dessert, Lula Belle, Saga, British Soldier, Relentless, Rare and Palpatine

are sailing into the teeth of this and will be in for a rough night. But

as the wind goes behind them it will help a bit.

Bank von Bremmen are sailing out of this and should escape the worst.

Swish and Haspa are past the worst of this now and on their way to Ireland.

My next chance to update will be Sunday late evening by which time the

storm will be going away.

Chris Radford


Crew on GBR 2722 Rleentless on Jellyfish


Written by RORC Saturday, 16 August 2014 16:11

The crew are all fine. The boat is holding up very well and proving very robust.

The boat was slamming uncomfortably into the waves. So we changed course to go SE onto a reach and then downwind NE and then NW. This has given us time to consider our options. We have done a thorough review of ourselves, the boat, the options and the weather. We have established already in the race that the boat is fine going downwind in 45 knots with a headsail. It runs in a very stable manner and feels safe. We know the wind will turn to the North this evening. So as the wind veers to the North, we are planning to go down with the wind. This way we will stay in 30 knots until this evening and then by the time the bigger wind arrives we will be running downwind which we can do safely.

At present Relentless is carrying on racing. We are monitoring the weather and we are holding the option to run to Orkney or Stornaway if it gets worse.


Crew member on GER5555 Bank von Bremen


Written by Crew member on GER5555 Bank von Bremen Saturday, 16 August 2014 14:57

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Bank von Bremen is approaching St. Kilda.

Today we received the safety warning with gale force 10 and got right away

Bft. 9.

We sail under storm jib and hope the wind will slow down, but latest

Gribfiles say lower winds monday morning.

Everything is wet, now it is no more race condition but get crew and boat



Crew member on GBR8191R British Soldier


Written by Crew member on GBR8191R British Soldier Saturday, 16 August 2014 09:49

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British Soldier RB&I Race Report 6

As at 0336 Sat 16 Aug

We are at the top! after a lot of beating and some flukey winds we arrived at Muckle Flugga around 1630! The equivalent of 1 Fastnet down with 2 to go. Morale has been lifted with the opportunity to use our phones and check in with loved ones (apart from the driver - the luckless skipper). Also in light airs there has been a chance for a wash and a change of clothes. Most of the tidying below has been sorted although Phil's 'Eagle's Nest' (skipper's quarterberth) seems to have gone unattended. The crew also enjoyed their second bottle of champagne, and clocked the 10,000th mile on British Soldier, which was quite a moment for Phil and Will.

Since then the wind has gone west and up to 25 knots. We are sailing close to the wind under J4 and 2 reefs and are fairly hard pressed in some bumpy seas . Down below has returned to swamp - a large item is floating at my feet under the chart table, not sure what. Spray is flung from bow to stern and even somehow flicks 180 degrees down the hatch - irksome to say the least! The wind looks set to blow over the next few days so we are bracing ourselves for more of these delights!

For more information on the race go to

Remember to follow the yachts go to


Crew member on NED7576 La Promesse


Written by Crew member on NED7576 La Promesse Saturday, 16 August 2014 09:15

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We just sent this message to race committee.

Race Committee,

We just stopped racing to head for Stornoway to do mainsail repairs. Area is too large to handle in these conditions on board. We postponed at 59.03.2N 7.09.841W.

Skipper and crew all fine.

JanKees & Bart


Crew member on NED7576 La Promesse


Written by Crew member on NED7576 La Promesse Saturday, 16 August 2014 06:44

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One stitch in the main is departing seriously.

Between 2nd and 3rd reef.

We've just put the 3rd reef in and wait for a opportunity to do repairs.

This main has done two AZAB's and one OSTAR, half a RBI and some daysailing. Altogether around 16000 nautical miles. Cuben Fiber which is quite strong and keeps its shape. Final diagnose after the race.

Under 3rd reef and staysail doing 7 knots.

Bit dissapointed but already with a plan for the repairs.


JK & B


Crew on IRL3607 Lula Belle


Written by RORC Saturday, 16 August 2014 06:30

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Day 4

The first sign of things changing were the waves were now against us then the wind turned. The hard beat started to Shetland. Over 100 miles up wind. Wind in 20's again today. Shackle on jib blew so we had to stop to fix that. While we were stopped we fixed nav lights. Bulb blew in lights but broke inside so we had to fit spare set to bow. Brian did same hanging from the pulpit. Despite my best efforts he did get dunked a couple of times so he can confirm the gauge saying water temperature 32c is also incorrect.

Life on board is still uncomfortable. The sailing is great it's all the other stuff that's a nuisance. Eating sleeping etc. All our injuries have come from falls down below as boat is rocked.

As day closes we see we have actually sailed 155 miles but only covered 110 of race course. The tide seems to be forever against us. And it's not so much the 2 knts you loose against it it's the 20 degrees you lose of pointing that kills you. The north sea tides are erratic and hard to work with.

Spirits are good anyway as we hope to see.Shetland s tomorrow.



Skipper on GBR 1702 Scarlet Logic


Written by RORC Saturday, 16 August 2014 06:28

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Crew member Richard Walsh was safely transferred to the Kirkwall lifeboat at just before midnight on Friday night.

The weather moving in from the west had been of concern to us, to pass Sular Sgeir would now entail a beat in gale force conditions, compounding the already challenging conditions we were expecting. We feel that having called upon the assistance of the coastguard and RNLI it would be inappropriate to head back on to the race course at this stage.

Having studied the forecast, it seems that we would be waiting at least 48hrs to get a sensible weather window to round Sular Sgair, the later part of our race would then see very light winds, delaying our finish further.

We have taken the difficult but perhaps inevitable decision to retire from the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland race. It has been a memorable race, with some fantastic and challenging sailing with a great team. We are very proud to have lead our class for such a long part of the race.

This race is over for us, we wish our fellow competitors safe and rewarding sailing for the remainder of the race, we will come back out fighting the next time!

We would like to thank the very professional Shetland coastguard, and the dedicated capable team aboard the Kirkwell RNLI Lifeboat for their invaluable assistance with getting Richard the quickest possible medical assistance.

Ross Applebey


Crew on IRL3607 Lula Belle


Written by RORC Saturday, 16 August 2014 06:26

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Day 2

We are really getting hammered by the strong winds. Brian seen 40's again today. We have had our nav tri light blown off the mast and took the wind index with it. This not only means we can not tell wind strength and direction. But we can not use auto pilot to wind. This makes sail changes much more difficult.

We also had our new main sail tear today. Not to big I think we will be able to repair it.

Life on board has settled into our 2 hours on 2 off routine. It's amazing how quickly time passes in this system.

But with winds above 30 all the time everything on board is physically very difficult. Walking around cooking even sleeping is like been in a tumble dryer.

Can't wait for tomorrow. Let's hope no more breakages.

Day 3

We managed to cover 170 miles yesterday despite all the breakage. Today the wind has dropped to the more manageable 20's. We had to stop for an hour and repair the. Main sail.

wave direction and tides seem to turn against us today

Only 125 miles covered today. Not a productive day.



Crew Member on GBR 5236 Rare


Written by RORC Saturday, 16 August 2014 06:22

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Back into another weather system we go... Seems like the lovely 10-15kts that we had yesterday have been long gone. We had a little motivation boost as once we tacked at Norway we were headed straight for Mukkle! It was rather strange having everything on the opposite side... After 4 days you get used to things!

Day 4 ended with a little laughter when Ian dove head first into the bunk and once the oilies were off he fell asleep in what would normally be defined as the reversed position.

Ps. James, keep on fighting buddy we're rooting for you up here.

Day - 5
Awoke to Ian tacking the boat whilst my bunk was still in the upwind position, ie i ended up on the side of the boat in a state of disarray. This tacking nonsense continued until I could untangle myself from the bag. It was worth it though as we had reached the most northerly point in the UK, and it was spectacular! What made it even better (should have thought about it earlier) was we had phone signal and could touch base with friends and family.

It all ended too soon with Shetland Coastguard forecasting force 5/6 and maybe more, oh and did I mention all upwind?? That also meant a Jib change and getting wet :( but atleast the boat is more manageable now.


Crew member on NED7576 La Promesse


Written by Crew member on NED7576 La Promesse Saturday, 16 August 2014 04:28

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Time out.

Headsail down and continue under double reefed main.

Slamming of the boat too violent. Apparent wind on deck between 36 and 45 kts in a rough sea.

Still doing 6 knots over ground (!) in a WNW direction to pick up westerly and NW winds sooner. Another day without progress is annoying for raceresults :-(

These conditions are a serious test for sailor and gear.

Good watertight and waterproof foulgear is a must as is a pair of real waterproof boots with good grip. We have seen some torrential rain the last couple of hours.Comfortable safety belt that hooks in and out easily.

Bart and I discussed the question 'why are we doing this voluntarily?' a couple of times. And the answer is that we love it. We're always happy out here at sea, in our element. Whatever conditions. It is that passion from where the motivation comes to conti

nue and everytime again leave harbour and chase the horizon.

We keep the discipline to make fresh tea every watch and make sure we eat and drink a little. And get enough rest.

All well on board. Daylight just arrived. Now we have a better view of mother nature in a grimmy mood. Someone really pissed off Neptune!

Anxious to know how we are doing.

from 59.15N 6.46W with love,

JanKees & Bart


Crew member on GER5555 Bank von Bremen


Written by Crew member on GER5555 Bank von Bremen Friday, 15 August 2014 14:23

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Many greetings from the Crew of Bank von Bremen

Yesterday evening we rounded Muckle Flugga and are happy to be on our way

back now. The beating in wet and windy conditions became tiring. In the

moment we are going upwind again but this time sun is shining. We have faced

already a number of technical problems. Just after the start we lost our

Gennaker pole and had to improvise. Due to deep broaching we had to send one

crewmember up to the top of the mast in heavy weather conditions.

Succesfullly we started running around south-east England. A two days

passage through the North-Sea brought us to the Lat. of 60-ies. We are

still in the game but have sometimes the feeling of being in a different

race than our competitors because of different weather conditions.


Crew member on NED7576 La Promesse


Written by Crew member on NED7576 La Promesse Friday, 15 August 2014 12:12

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Red = port

Green = starboard

360deg White = anchor

Dark Yellow = sign of possible dehydration or too little water intake

start drinking immediately!


All fine, good progress along rhumbline, Bank of Bremen 10nm WSW of us.

JanKees & Bart

o/b La Promesse


Crew member on SWE1929 SCA


Written by Crew member on SWE1929 SCA Friday, 15 August 2014 11:38

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New pictures on photo deck:



Crew member on SWE1929 SCA


Written by Crew member on SWE1929 SCA Friday, 15 August 2014 10:27

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Day and Night

It is 0245 Friday morning in the waters of the Fastnet (south of the Irish

Sea). Libby and Sam are sitting on the floor staring at the navigation

computer, analyzing, waiting to make the call to gybe back across

Alvimedica. The off-watch girls are sleeping in their gear and have thirty

minutes to rest until we gybe back. The girls on deck are in full

concentration mode; they say nothing except for "trim on," "hold," and

"nice numbers. And it has been like this all day and all night as we've

played a game of snakes and ladders with Team Alvimedica.

A few days ago, after an epic start by Team SCA off of Cowes, we sailed at

the back of the Volvo Ocean 65 pack as we raced more of an easterly route

to avoid wind farms. For a few days we watched the rich get richer with

various pressure systems affecting the area for the boats ahead of us.

Today, we closed our 52nm mile gap on Dongfeng, coming within 4nm of the

team yesterday morning and we closed and sealed our 40nm gap on the young

guns on board Team Alvimedica.

Playing catch up has certainly not been easy in the least. As we sailed

down the west coast of Ireland, we've relied on tactics and timing to make

our massive gains and crawl back. Now, as we reach the southern tip of

Ireland we will be on longer gybes until the Scilly Islands.

"Now, it will be about sailing fast and not making mistakes," Libby said

after finishing up a well thought out "surprise" gybe in front of

Alvimedica. (I say surprise because, as a crew, we initially thought our

last gybe was to our lay line and course.) But, as Libby explained, "on

the last gybe we continued to get lifted* as the wind shifted, we saw an

opportunity so we decided to capitalize on it." The gybe was so last

minute that the internal weight was left to shift to windward until after

the gybe and some of the girls were still putting their boots on when they

began to furl the staysail.

This is just one example of what the last twenty four hours has been like;

nearly every waking and sleeping (when you can get some) moment has been

about passing Alvimedica and leaving them well in our trail. A true game

of cat and mouse, snakes and ladders, and a drag race!

As per normal on board Team SCA, timing is everything and only tomorrow

will tell if all our focus, determination, and hard work will pay off!

*A lift is a shift which allows your boat to head up toward the windward

mark more. It "lifts" your course higher.


Crew member on SWE1929 SCA


Written by Crew member on SWE1929 SCA Friday, 15 August 2014 10:27

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Game on.

A while back someone came up with the phrase: there is no I in team. Well,

this phrase still stands true today and could not be truer than here on

board Team SCA. Together, we live with little sleep, together we bail out

the boat, together we get doused by waves, together we get up and attempt

to get dressed quickly, together we eat for energy, together we sail fast

and hard. Together, we gain mile after mile on Alvimedica and Dongfeng.

If, for one minute, we worked independently this race would be in vain. We

need our watch partner and our other crew mates to keep us focused and to

get us through the often incredibly long watches and short off watches.

When the wind dies and it becomes too easy to lose focus, or when we have

to grind for 2.5hours straight, we need our team members to keep pushing

us. Of course we each bring different skills to the table, but our skill

sets could not flourish if we did not work as a team. This could not have

been more true than today.

From here on out, in the Seven Star Round Britain and Ireland Race our

timing is crucial. We are currently sailing in the waters of Rockall and

Shannon, according to the BBCs Shipping Forecast.

"It becomes quite tactical as we gybe down the west coast of Ireland.

There will be about one hour between each gybe," Libby explained. Onboard

SCA we can make massive gains and capitalize on other teams losses during

this tricky time.

Over the course of the night we have become neck and neck with Alvimedica,

they are to the east of us off our starboard side, now we are only 3nm

ahead and Dongfeng is about 3nm away down the track ahead of us.

"Alvimedica went offshore so we gained miles on them there," Sam said.

"Currently, we are heading towards the most north west tip of Ireland,

where we will begin a gybe off down the coast."

With three teams incredibly close at the moment, timing and teamwork will

be everything today. There is a buzz in the air, you can see the girls

smiling, and hear the occasional laugh so there is no doubt the girls are

loving their job, the race, and most importantly their team.

Oh, and we are about 660nm away from the finish line back in the Solent

thats just one lap around the Canary Islands!!


Crew member on SWE1929 SCA


Written by Crew member on SWE1929 SCA Friday, 15 August 2014 10:26

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Team SCA, along with Azzam, Campos, Alvimedica, and Dongfeng, are leading

the fleet up and around Muckle Flugga, the northern tip of the Shetland

Islands. Currently Team SCA is 35nm behind Alvimedica and Dongfeng, and we

are gaining on them quickly with every passing minute.

On the first day out we found ourselves in a tricky position, Libby

explained. The other boats were still using the A3, the downwind sail,

even though we had reached the maximum safety wind limit for the sail. We

changed the sail but that forced us to put in more gybes along the Dover

Coast, and the other boats sailed past.

We then found ourselves in another situation with wind farms. According to

Libby, there was only a mile of safe gybing area, to the West, so we made

the call to go outside the wind farms. We thought there was a gap between

two large farms but it turned out there was another wind farm! This forced

us to go 30 miles in the wrong direction. It goes without saying, that it

was a massive learning opportunity for all of us, and we are now gaining

back some lost miles on the other Volvo Ocean 65s.

We had quite the day in the North Sea as well. Up here the seas are very

cold and weve had the biggest sea state we've encountered so far in our

training. Sam kept saying it reminded her of the Southern Ocean.

Yesterday, Annie was hit by a wave with such force that she had trouble

hearing out of one ear. With the sea state this large, everyone and

everything is wet and chilly. When asked how to explain life at the

moment, the girls can only say one word: wet. To do a maneuver on the bow,

the girls need a snorkel. To trim the sails, a snorkel is preferred but

the girls have opted for ski goggles. Inside the boat, we are constantly

bailing cold water out from all corners of the boat. Fortunately, for most

of us, despite a few damp arms and jackets, our toes and bodies are warm!

It goes without saying further that it's very fun and very (very) wet!

The waves are relentless! Abby said.

One particularly interesting thing about our current location is we are

300nm further north of our most southern point when rounding the Cape Horn

in a few months. The sea is cold and we have been trailed by curious sea

birds gliding through the air. (I wish I had my birding book!) Needless to

say, being this far North, is quite an exciting milestone for all of us on

Team SCA!

This is some of the best driving ever, Sophie exclaimed, This is so


I feel exhilarated, Dee said, Were all a little bit fatigued, but

were loving what we are doing and everyone is giving it 100%, so its a

good race.


Crew member on SWE1929 SCA


Written by Crew member on SWE1929 SCA Friday, 15 August 2014 10:25

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It's nearly 0600 and except for a few naps during the night, Team SCA has

been up for 24hrs. "It's tiring," Annie said. "And the boys are sailing

fast. But, by no means, are we even thinking about giving up.

"At the moment, it's pretty much a drag race for all of us but definitely

for us," Libby said. Fortunately, Libby pointed out there is also a high

pressure moving in about 200 miles away, is near the Shetland Islands,

where we might make some gains.

It is definitely a drag race, except instead of car fumes and peel out

smoke, it is wind and waves, lots of waves. The waves are pretty unreal:

walls of white water, nearly reaching the first spreader that come flying

over the deck. Some crash over the cockpit filling it like a bathtub.

Others seemingly leap over the boat altogether and come fully down on the

four girls on deck. One wave completely knocked Annie off her feet as she

trimmed the main; only after the grinders were trimming the sail back to

life did Annie climb back to her feet again. Even virtually under water,

the girls are working incredibly, hard to make up for lost miles.

To date, this is the most sustained wind and seas we have seen over a 24

hour period ever (our top wind speed to date is 47kts during a squall).

This is great for learning more about the boat and ourselves in these

conditions. It has a been a fast and wet first 24hours, and as we reach

the top of the course, with the low pressure moving out and the high

pressure moving in Libby is expecting a beautiful sunset as we race around

the top of Great Britain


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