Nick Bubb, the young British Mini Transat hopeful, has just finished the first leg of the L'Odyssee D'Ulysse in sixth place

Having completed the first leg of the L’Odyssee D’Ulysse the doublehanded Mini Transat qualifying race (Antibes and back) and finishing in sixth place (best British competitor) Nick Bubb sailing his new boat Northern Computers is now looking forward to the second leg.

From the boat, Nick commented: “We rounded south-west Corsica and were hit again by gale force winds which got a bit hairy. Added to this we were aware of dismastings, retirements and a helicopter rescue to a man over board incident, which led to more concern but we came through it well in third position, pushing for second.”

By early last Tuesday morning Northern Computers was in second position North of Sardinia, and was able to bear off and hoist a kite for the first time.”

Nick continued: “We were in a very strong position at this stage of the race. We had not suffered from any equipment failures and felt that we had better boat speed than our nearest opposition for the next stage of the race where we were expecting strong winds and a two metre sea.

“At approx 0200 on Wednesday in near total darkness I heard two very loud bangs. I instantly checked the rig fearing the worst. The mast was still there but the shrouds had gone slack. I realised the forestay had parted taking the jib halyard with it. We quickly dropped all sails and jerry rigged a forestay using the spinnaker halyards. We set the storm jib with fully reefed main and started racing again. The baby stay and a lot of luck saved the mast. Towards the end of the race the winds went light but we were unable to set more sail area for fear of losing the mast. As we crossed the finishing line we were pleased to have only lost a few places.”

The second leg of this race from Hammamet (Tunisia) back to Antibes starts tomorrow (15 April) where Nick hopes to improve on his position in preparation for the Mini Transat later in the year.

For more information on Nick Bubb’s Northern Exposure campaign see