Start Stop Go
On board action from the Class 40 Keysource courtesy of Paul Worswick.
Sunday arrives and we leave the Vendee dock for the double handed Class 40 race to the Azores in boat number order – highest (and newest) first and have a slow procession through the Canal to the Sea – loads of people waving and cheering – kind of felt like those scenes from the Vendee you see on TV (though perhaps a few less people!)
At the start we had a short course around the harbour and the beach before heading off to Horta – we’d been given the SI’s and course diagram and it looked like a port start at the boat, unfurl the zero and head off on port. How wrong we were…
In the French SI’s they refer to a d’egagement buoy – this translates as a spreader mark into English – what it actually means is that they set a windward mark – we had no idea (and neither did quite a few of the non French) so while we headed off toward what we thought was the first mark, most everyone else headed upwind from the pin on Starboard – terrible way to start the race dog last from 24 boats.
With some mad scrambling on the foredeck pulling the zero down and rigging for a kite we started to pull our way back through the fleet and were in 9th by the time we went round the last buoy and pointed toward Horta. Looked like a beat to get out of the Bay of Biscay and we felt like we were in left hand phase once we started so we tacked over to port almost immediately while the front runners went off on Starboard. After a few hours this was paying as most of the rest of the fleet flipped over and we were leading the fleet.