Goss and Larsen complete repair to SeaCart but weather forces longer than expected stopover 21/6/06

Gale force winds passing over the Hebrides has caused a certain amount of disruption to the Shetland Round Britain and Ireland Race. And it’s still blowing 40kts plus this morning.

Pete Goss and Paul Larsen who hoped to complete the delamination repair to the main hull of their 30ft trimaran and set off from Barra again last night missed a weather window and will probably have to remain in Barra until Friday.

Speaking from Barra lifeboat station this morning Goss is in great form but itching to get back on the water again. Commenting on the race so far Goss said: “This is a brilliant race, I love it and I love the boat. Until I got this boat I didn’t realize how much I missed sailing. We had a fantastic start and it was all looking good for us until fate dictated otherwise; that’s just the way it is. Yes, it’s very frustrating but we hope to be back on the water within the next few days.”

Goss explained that the delamination problem – the longitudinal structure pulling away from the main hull – was actually discovered on the SeaCart 30 design a while back and all boats were recalled and repaired. Ironically Goss’ boat was missed out!

The repair to the main hull yesterday took a bit longer than expected so Goss and Larsen will now have to wait possibly until Friday before they set off to Lerwick when the wind abates. Goss continued: “It’s still really wild here in Barra and blowing far more than expected. However, we’re actually quite enjoying ourselves helping out with the RNLI and there are so many great people here and it’s such a fantastic location.”

Before the wind reached its peak yesterday there was a desperate attempt to relocate some of the yachts moored and anchored off Castlebay nearer to Vatersay where it’s more sheltered from the full brunt of the south-east gale.

One yacht – Ruffian – dragged anchor and was blown ashore. Thankfully the lifeboat was on the scene within minutes and together with Goss and Larsen who assisted the lifeboat crew, the boat was pulled off without damage.

A Sigma 36 – Knight’s Challenge – also requested assistance off Barra Head yesterday when co skippers Janet Sainsbury and Carole Sunter were overwhelmed by the 50kt winds. Apparently, Sainsbury and Sunter who are both in their 60s, were concerned as they approached Barra on a lee-shore and were accompanied in safely by the lifeboat.

Meanwhile the Open 40s Immo BIB (Roaring Forty), Roaring Again and La Promesse area continuing their close race on Leg 3 to Lerwick, and the first multihull – Alacrity – sailed by Rex Conn and Etienne Giroire has just arrived in the Shetland Isles.