steady as she goes

On Board

Ryan Breymaier checks in from onboard Adopteunskipper.net in the TJV. Track them here.

It shows when you have not been sailing in a fleet for a while. Nico has been looking for money, and I have been chasing records, which left us without a tactician at the start. We managed to go the wrong way twice on the first 16 mile beat, and were none too pleased with ourselves as you can imagine. At least we have the rest of the 5600 miles to make it up.

Our plan was always to sail through these first few days as conservatively as possible to preserve the boat and make sure we get to Brazil. Nico’s aim is to promote himself for a VG sponsor, not try to win this race.

With the first big low pressure, we made the decision to follow the leaders, but slowly, which was an effective strategy as the worst of the low had already started to burn itself out when we arrived. We were able to go right past the center in reasonable winds maxed out around 35 knots, which is much less than predicted.

The boat is very happy with small sails up; less is more. We’ve spent a lot of time with 3 reefs and the J3, which is the smallest sailplan before the storm jib comes out.

As we are a low (no) budget porogram, unfortunately I can’t send any decent pics or video of the low, or of the beam reaching in 30 khnots of breeze we are currently doing. Its pretty awesome though. These wave on beam conditions are what has broken the roof of this boat twice already, (2008 VG and then 2009 TJV both with Seb Josse) so we make sure to keep it well heeled over so we don’t take any big ones where it could hurt.

Nico and I did not get a huge amount of sailing in before the start so in the same way we’re learning the boat we’re also finding a rhythm between the both of us and the setups that work on the boat as we go along. Our average gets better against the fleet all the time so we are happy with how things are progressing.

We are not eating much as it’s been quite rough, but we have more food than you can imagine. I keep finding it everywhere! Lots of smoked sausage, liver pate and other treats from Alsace, Nico’s home region. Think Wisconsin….

Anyway, it looks to be a very quick race, as we’re not VMG running in the tradewinds, the low has gotten us far enough west that we will have a tighter angle, and probably will not even see the spinnaker except perhaps along the Brazilian coast to finish in about 2 weeks.

Sorry to see the other boats drop out, but its what racing these boats is all about. Development of the latest ideas means taking risks that things won’t work – or need reinforcing, modifying, whatever, just like any new innovation, it won’t work first time. Really sorry to hear about Bilou and Lionel but happy they got picked up before having to deal with a second night in an upside down hull. Let’s hope the breakages are done now and we can get on with some fast and furious sailing!

Title inspiration thanks to The Raconteurs.

Ryan out.