In his latest report from on board Magellan Alpha, Mike Garside describes his knockdown as he was heading for Autissier's EPIRB

On 18 February, Mike Garside writes:

  • Time: 17 21
  • Position: 54.27s 130.04W
  • Course: 100T
  • Speed: 11Kts
  • Wind: SSW 4
  • Sea: moderate
  • Water Temp: 42.8F
  • Bar: 999.1 steady

    I seem to be having a bit of a purple patch. I mean, at least nothing major has gone wrong for almost twenty four hours. That’s if you don’t count one monster crash gybe that pinned me down for a good half an hour.

    It happened shortly after I had been diverted by the MRCC (Maritime Rescue Control Centre) in Chile to investigate an EPIRB that had gone off some way ahead and south of me. I immediately gybed the boat onto the new course and then plotted the position I had been given.

    No sooner had I looked at the chart than it became pretty obvious that I was being sent off to investigate one of Isabelle’s beacons, and I knew, by that time, she was safely aboard Fila with Giovanni.

    But as everybody knows, it is not up to the master of a ship asked to go on a rescue mission to reject the request of an MRCC just because he suspects it to be a false alarm. So I contacted the Race Operations Centre in Charleston for help.

    At that stage we got into a bit of a muddle. With emails whanging back and forth, each a little testier than the one before, I failed to notice I had not balanced Magellan Alpha very well when I set off on my errand of mercy.

    Suddenly and quite violently, I was upended from the nav station into the port bunk, hanging on to my laptop for all I was worth. Under the full main and my large genoa this knock-down was a beaut! Only, unlike PRB, Magellan Alpha didn’t keep going, but stopped at just over the ninety degree mark. Thankfully.

    Well, eventually everything was sorted out. The mission to rescue Isabelle’s abandoned GPIRB was called off and, feathers only slightly ruffled, Alphie and I went on our way, once again in pursuit of J-P and Cray Valley.

    And then, as I said at the start, things seemed to go rather well. To my surprise we succeeded in reducing J-P’s lead by half – from 75 miles to 38. That quite bucked me up. And now it really would be nice to think Alphie and I can keep this going. How I would love to lead Class 2 home on this leg.