Our Contributing Editor Pip Hare is onboard the Class 40 Concise 2 racing in the Transat Jacques Vabre with co skipper Phillippa Hutton-Squire
Tuesday 27th October: 1700 GMT
I’m going to keep this short as we have a bit going on out here, but hello from a wet and wild Concise 2.
It’s kind of ironic that we started the Transat Jacques Vabre as a driftathon and I feel so sorry for all the people who turned up to see the spectacle of multis, 60s and 40s mixing it on a short course and were treated to a boat park.
Well it’s certainly not like that now. The last 48 hours have been a build up to this which is us bashing our way through the bottom of a low pressure system in 30+ knots of wind, freezing squalls and messy aggressive waves.
The strategy from the start has always been to head as far west as possible before being clobbered. The leaders of our fleet have been heading just north of west for the fastest wind angle and must been spanking their boats like crazy to try and get round the centre of the low.
We with around half the fleet have taken a more conservative route to allow us to settle into the race and try not to break anything early on.
Concise 2 is a wet boat. When you step into the cockpit you are being instantly hosed with litres and litres of water at a time. The full force of a wave rolling down the deck will push you sideways out of the steering position so one arm needs to be anchored round a stantion and always harnessed on.
Down below we are set up well, every ounce of weight on the boat is on the high side and we are sleeping in our foulies crashed out on a bean bag ready to leap into action should the other one need us.
As I am writing we are bouncing over some big waves, the boat is launching into thin air and then crashing down hard. On the bigger waves I am actually being thrown into the air so it’s a good idea to stand up when you hear a big wave coming and take control of the situation.
In a couple of hours we should meet the wind shift which will allow us to finally go south. All of the boats kit, which must weigh around 500kg must be moved down below from one side to the other while we are crashing around. Well that is going to be fun isn’t it?
We are fine, finding our rhythm and dealing with what ever is thrown at us. We were gutted this morning to hear Team Concise has had to head for Ireland with damage. It is just gutting for them after so much preparation.
We are glad to be out here, keeping it steady and dealing with what ever comes our way.
Keeping checking back at yachtingworld.com for Pip’s latest updates.