Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A day in the life: Fastnet

Copyright onEdition 2007©
Aviva Racing Open 60 - Dee Caffari and Aviva retire and head home
As first light appeared I realized that it was not just the night making it difficult to see but the visibility was very poor with the constant drizzle that was still falling. I checked the boat and found some areas of chafe on the mainsail that had resulted in some holes and the extra pressure had a knock on effect. While I was repairing what I could of the damage, Mike checked the weather ahead. We needed to reach the Fastnet Rock before the feared NW winds arrived otherwise we would be beating into 45 knots of wind once more. At our current prediction this was not going to happen. I had to ask myself if I really wanted to put my seasick crew and Aviva through another hard night to reach the rock?

After a chat we all decided unanimously that we could repair the damage now and still enjoy a sail home with reduced stress levels rather than risk severe damage that would be expensive and put us all at risk in the Irish Sea. So we are now broad reaching at 16 knots in poor visibility to return to Portsmouth. The seas are still large and sloppy and the wind is still gusting in excess of 25 knots. I can see smaller yachts still making their way along the south coast of England and wish then safe and sensible sailing. http://www.avivaoceanracing.com/