Read the latest report from the crew of Dutch Yacht Winsome

It has been a busy bank holiday weekend for the crew of Dutch yacht Winsome. Read their blog from the last few days…..

Day 5 Job application

if you are reading on a quiet Sunday morning the newspaper or the latest yachting magazine and you see a small advertisement under ‘wanted’ which reads as follows;

“Dutch yacht owner looking for fresh salt water acrobats for sailing around the British isles, no salary, no fun.”


What a night we had – 20 knots of wind from the N-NW, tide against wind and cloudy so pretty dark. It was a 6 hour roller coaster ride impossible to even lay in bed, you have to be an acrobat to move inside the boat. putting your foul weather gear on and off every 3 hours means you are hanging on the ceiling with one hand while you are trying to undress with the other hand, of course this does not work and you let go and end up on a bunk or on the kitchen a couple of times.

We wondered if this would not be an ideal test for the NASA to test future astronauts. Once you are dressed and made it to the cockpit everything is fine of course. sitting on deck with a continues water spray in your face of about 12 degrees C. this is why we are here, this is what makes offshore racing so much fun, yeh for sure, bullocks it is no fun, it is rewarding the day after and it is part of the marriage we have with the sea.

we are presently 10 nm from muckle flugga and got company from Puma Logic another competitor which earlier in the race had to make an emergency stop for some repairs. they are a lot faster than us so we will not see them for long. it is nice to have them with us now though during this part of the race. it is pretty empty here, although the islands are looking beautiful rough and green this place is not to be during storm or winter times. just two more hours and we start our way south again where hopefully the weather will be a bit warmer. who knows i might still need the shorts i brought.

yacht and crew in good conditions, time for a shave and a shower but that has to wait I suppose.

Back tomorrow to you with the latest Winsome news.

Day 6 Atlantic ocean

I left you yesterday just before the rouding of Muckle Fluga. we rounded at 17:15 GMT with weather conditions as they belong with the rounding of a cape. 20 knots of wind may be a tick more and a wild sea caued by the large ocean rolling waves coming from deep drafts to 60 and 30 mtr drafts around the cape.

The night which followed was rough with wind reaching gale force (35 knots and more)and waves of 6 metres – we expected this weather and were totally prepared for this. Winsome had a big smile on her face and surfed from the waves reaching speeds of 11 knots. Once we were used to the conditions boat and crew enjoyed the ride. we were even more happy when the results of our hard work came in with this mornings position update. we gained a lot on our direct competitors. we are now within 20 nm miles and back in the game.

This morning there came an emergency call from Beluga so we headed straight to their position at 30 Nm away together with Puma Logic but after an hour it appeared that Beluga had no problems. She must have sent a distress call without knowing it themselves. So the helicopter could be called back and we were and are quite happy nothing happened to them.

At the moment at 18:00 GMT we are cruisig under full main and genoa 2 in 20 kn of wind towards Sular Sgeir, which only 10 miles away now. Predictions are that we are getting light winds soon so back to the drawing board to master mind a new plan to close the last miles to the competition. we want to beat them on real time not only on corrected time now.

Unfortunately our heating system is not working anymore, so what is cold remains cold and what is wet remains wet.

Day 7

No name for this day as there is simply not a lot happening.

Last night at 18:50 we passed Sula Sgeir N59 05 W006 10, one of these strange rocky islands of the cost from Scotland, nothing to see nothing to do. sailing conditions where good, light wind and no horizon which made the steering a bit hard. at the moment we are cruising in 14 knots of wind at a wind angle of 40 degrees under a blue sky south towards Black Rock, the north west tip of Ireland. This is where we found our Waterloo the last time now 4 years ago when we encountered problems with the steering device (bevel box). you could say so now almost rounded Britain and Ireland but in two editions.

we have finally dried our clothes, beds and gear in the early morning sun, i repaired the water pump so we can fill the kettle now again in 2 seconds instead of 5 minutes. Also repaired the Webasto heating so we can actually dry the boat inside as well. all small jobs in preparations of busier times. We have not gained much on our direct competition Beluga and Selene but were first in class this morning on rating which shows we are still getting closer. at present there is not much more to do than sail as fast as we can and position ourselves as good as possible for the new high pressure system coming in this night. it would not surprise me if we are next to our competition tomorrow night, if not no problem, still some 750 nm to go and we are happy with taking small bites of their lead all the time.

Not much else to report really, everybody is sleeping as much as he can to be ready for the next winds or action. sounds all a bit boring so maybe day 7 is boring day but in reality for us it is just wonderful out here sailing in the sun with a steady breeze, no complaints from our side.

I am sure there is more action to come soon enough.

Day 8 Whale Day

Quietly we are making our way south towards Black Rock, the North West tip of Ireland. Not much wind out here and pretty shifty all day long. we are steering between 190 and 229 degrees and are doing 4 to 5 knots. as i wrote yesterday we are positioning ourselves for the new winds to come from the west. though the weather forecast changed a bit overnight we hold on to our thoughts how to get in front of the competition.

We cannot see them yet but they are between 7 and 9 miles away now. the complete crew is committed and motivated to get the absolute maximum out of the boat and we are sailing the boat like you would sail a dinghy, I do not think we could trim and steer the boat better than we are doing now, there is 24/7 a motivated trimmer and helmsman and if you thing you can take it easy one of the off duty crew members sleeping with one eye open remembers your that we have something to make up still.

This afternoon we saw for the first time this trip a Whale, not from very close by but definitely a whale. Only one which is a bit strange maybe. one of these moments the whole crew was on deck watching this unbelievable animal.

I hope you all saw some pictures i finally managed to email yesterday, if not something went wrong and you can see most of them on I have no idea how many people are reading my daily thoughts but i enjoy writing them at least.

Forecast for the next days is simular to what we have now, no strong winds expected no downwind expected which is why we have now taken all the spinaker gear from deck. we have not used the spinaker at all !! 1235 nm we did now and some 600 to go.

Back to the wheel now.