on board


The latest from the boys on the Class 40 Keysource as they hang on in the La Solidaire du Chocolat. Not great fun…

So all the chat on the dock and in the briefing was about the front coming through 24 hours into the race – talk of 50 knots and 8 metre seas was pretty daunting, our plan was to sail well within ourselves and take it easy in the bad weather – it’s a long race to Mexico and we didn’t want to screw it up in the first week.

Well the predictions were right – it was a horrible front – we lost all of our instruments in the first 12 hours of the race so cannot say exactly how much breeze we saw but I would have thought high 40’s in the nastier puffs. 6 retirements and 2 boats had to run to port to make repairs – that’s a third of the fleet and all pretty experienced sailors – a few pros amongst the retirements.

We came out of it absolutely shattered, there was the front on Monday night and then the front on Wednesday night which wasn’t quite as bad but still nasty as.

Our survival approach to the weather has seen us still racing however we’re stupidly far behind the leaders – I was pretty unwell which made it even harder for Senior to bear the lion’s share of the work adn we’ve paid a heavy price for our approach (that’s absolutely taking nothing away from the boys at the front – what a great display of seamanship and racing).

Things on board much more settled now, I finally shed the drysuit after 4 days, we’ve had some hot food and caught up on sleep as well as tidying up the boat and maintenance jobs etc.

We made the decision this morning to head South rather than toward the Azores and playing the low pressure systems – we have a lot further to sail this way, however the weather still looks pretty unsettled to us and we fancy south is the right choice for us. Not too sure who else is coming this way, Axa Atout and Adriatech are already over a hundred miles in front of us off the Portuguese coast so we have targets to chase – Tales look like they may be coming this way as well and it’ll be interesting to see the morning pos reports to see who if any else are coming.

Back in racing mode now and hoping to get some decent miles under our belts in the coming days and then see where we are – the back of the fleet isn’t where we’d like to be!!