not so happy new year

on board

not so happy new year

Damn, can these guys get a break?

We had been doing great all night in the GOR, shaving mile after mile from Halvard
Mabire and Miranda Merron’s lead over us, we were flying the smallest
spinnaker, a bullet proof job called the A5, a sail that can be used even
in 40 knots of wind, which is not far from what we had, sustained 30-35,
the usual treatment down here… until disaster struck, the halyard parted
and the sail went down into the water.

Halvard and Miranda were 750 miles ahead of us just a few days back, and
with a bit of luck but also by pushing very hard we brought down the gap
to under 240 miles, a 510 miles catch up! I doubt we’d have ever had the
chance to overtake them but our goal is to finish within 24 hours of them.
They have a brand new boat and tons of experience and we feel that would
be a very honorable placement for us.

As you can imagine trailing a spinnaker in the water in 30-35 knots of
wind is likely to cause a few headaches, we masterminded a way to bring it
inside the boat with lines lead to winches via hatches and whatnot, it
took us a good hour but unfortunately the damage is severe, at some stage
the sail wrapped around the rudder and tore for many meters and we don’t
know if it can be saved. We also bent one of the stanchions in the process
which will need removing and re welding.

Hopefully this is the last bit of damage for 2011 and 2012 will not bring
just yet any more repairs with a hefty bill to foot.

It is a rather serious blow to the racing budget, if the sail needs
replacing we are looking at 2000 pounds and even a repair will cost 500 at
the very least but i doubt that’s enough… it’s part of the game, part of
finding that balance between speed and wear of material, you walk on the
edge and sometimes you slip, the important is to get up again and keep

Now more than ever i wish to thank all those that donated funds through www.marconannini.com/sms every penny helps in these situations. (we just kicked down some dough.  – ed). Meanwhile, the time approaches to wish you all fun celebrations for the
new year to come.