They’re Off

They’re Off

It was a spectacular downwind start for the big boats in the Rolex Fastnet. Virtually all of the impressive mini maxis lined up at the outer distance mark, except RAN which got the start nailed. Shortly afterwards ICAP Leopard took over, only to lose out as RAN charged up the middle of the Solent, whilst Leopard struggled for height along the Island shore in less breeze. Long way to go! Photo Carlo Borlenghi and more here.

Malcolm on Rosebud gives this weather forescast from yesterday (it was wrong!) on our world famous forum.

Tomorrow at 2:00 local time Rosebud / Team DYT will start the Fastnet Race off of the Royal Yacht Squadron along with 299 other boats. There is a blog site on the official RORC website that I will probably post to a couple of times during the race but old habits die hard so most of my posts will be to the SA site.

You will be able to follow the progress of the race on the tracker (Rosebud will be in class IRC SZ (super zero)) which will update every half hour so there will not be much point in me giving position information during the race. Instead I will supply my normal commentary about race conditions and our mental state (or lack thereof).

We have just received our latest weather routing for the race and it lays the race out as follows: We will beat out of the Solent and along the South Coast in a building sea breeze that will die off prior to sunset. The first big decision will be whether to spend the first night looking for drainage from the land or to head out into the English Channel and seek the light NW gradient breeze. On Monday, as we approach Lands End the breeze will begin to build to the 20’s. Then it looks to be a nice long wet beat to the Irish Coast before we spend Tuesday running in moderate breeze Scilly Isles. We will just have to wait to see what will happen on Wednesday weather wise as we progress from Lands End to Plymouth.

In our class, there are some really great boats with some great sailors. Although we were able to beat RAN and Luna Rossa in Cowes Week, we are under no delusion that we hold a boat speed advantage over these boats. The good news is that both boats will owe us time in this race and hopefully that will work to our advantage as we approach the finish.

So, our team will work hard throughout the race, knowing that there will be more than one restart in this race. Now that the Volvo race has ended, we are able to sail again with Jono Swain (who was watch captain on Telefonica Blue and for the first time, Jules Salter will be sailing with us. Jules was the Navigator on board Ericsson 4. I will fill you in on the rest of our 14 man crew during the race.

Update: The forecast for a seabreeze from the SW was wrong (so far) it is blowing from the SE so for now we will carry a spinnaker out of the Solent. Eventually this breeze will transition to a SW breeze and we will be beating to Fastnet. I guess we will enjoy the spinnaker ride as long as it lasts.

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