Thursday, September 20, 2007

Estrella Damm Open 60 update

Guillermo Altadill (left) and Jonathan McKee (right) finish their Barcelona World Race qualifier© Carlos Pich

I am sure you have all been holding your breath since our last report from Estrella Damm, wondering if we could get the A5 genneker down in 30 knots of wind when we got to Sardinia. We had a great ride on this leg, 18 to 26 knots of boat speed, and some fantastic surfing. 8 miles from our waypoint we went for the snuffer and to my surprise it actually worked! We packed the kite away, put in a second reef and got ready for the next leg, a beam reach to the west to Menorca. We had covered the last 120 miles in 8 hours, what great sailing...

We jibed just as it was getting dark, onto a fast but extremely wet angle. The waves were constantly breaking over the boat, so it was very difficult to be on deck. All through the night, one of us would basically huddle under the cuddy in the cockpit, or just inside the door, poking your head out every 10 minutes or so, letting the autopilot do the steering. It is the only sane way to sail in these conditions. I can only imagine what it will be like with freezing cold water, or in more changeable conditions that require adjusting the sails. I think I need more clothes. Full Story