Windspeed; who cares?

We are tied to the dock at Lowestoft, having arrived at 0727 this morning. Considering it was a beat all the way, 480 miles from Lerwick in just over 2.5 days wasn’t bad going.

When we came down the Lowestoft Roads we saw a yacht heding for the harbour. Our hearts sunk, convinced it was a slower boat ahead of us. When we got in however, we found it was Peter Clutterbuck and Brian Thompson in Spirit of England, only 1 hour and 13 minutes in front of us, having left Lerwick 6 hours and 30 minutes ahead. No one else in either.

It turned out that Spirit broke a main halyard half way down the course, and ended up jury rigged for the second half. Still, gear failure or not, never say no to 5 hours bonus!

Next in came Richard Tolkien and Robert Wingate in FPC Greenaway, another Tri, who gained 45 minutes on us during the leg. It was perfect multihull weather for the second half, with flat water and 15 knots of wind on a beam reach. They also had some problems which meant a man up the mast, but these were countered by stories of 23 knot reaches.

Then came Mark Gatehouse and Adam Littlejohn in the other Open 60, 1 hour 30 minutes behind. We were very impressed with ourselves until we saw his mainsail, which was split from Leech to Luff 2/3 of the way up. It had been like that for 150 miles, and we only gained 30 minutes on him.

The photo shows the extent of the damage with Adam standing in the middle of it, which meant the main flogged incessantly. Looks like we got a “get out of jail free” card on that leg. Without the damage they would have been a long way ahead of us as we had predicted due to their superior upwind performance.

So we start the final Leg on Wed morning at 0727. Spirit, ourselves, FPC and Victoria all within 3 hours of each other, to do battle on a 305 mile beat to Plymouth and the finish. Yes it looks like another beat, with SW winds forecast.

It’s incredible that we chartered ourselves a down wind flyer, and have ended up beating most of the way around Britain. Some people get all the luck!