Pinkie bites the dust

Our online absence for a few days has borne nothing sinister, other then the need to be interesting in ones writing. Daily fish count ( or lack of fish ) and what we ate – doesn’t count, ( although movie and book reviews may? revisiting the plight of the Jesuits, the Spanish and Portuguese in the 1700’s ( The Mission ) or the role of Cicero in ancient Rome ( Imperium – Robert Harris ).

Depressingly after spending approximately five days repairing the pink spinnaker ( “pinkie” ) – it lasted a total of 1.5 days in sailing time – and alas went with a gracious rip circa 20.00 last night. This has a number of effects – 1) we have no spinnakers left to finish the race , 2) all our hard work did give a slight speed advantage , but only for a short period of time .

Not to be discouraged – we have pooled the computing power on board harnessing the reliability of the PC’s and design output of the Macs – we have developed our own new spinnaker, taking the best of North design, the hole in the sail concept of parasail (we know a lot of the “hole in the sail” theory), joining together the washed and unwashed polo’s, shorts and even the golden apron – in seeking a brand and a copyright for this technology we have come up with – K-Shite (Kealoha – Spinnaker Handling Integrated Technology Ecosystem )

That said on reading other boats blogs ( sailing spying if you will) we seem to be the only ones who even attempted a major repair. As the wind has died in places we have been forced to use the engine occasionally, carefully recording the usage and miles run under engine. For the non sailors reading this I know you must be thinking – what sort of yacht race allows the use of engines – well the ARC does for various reasons like shear practicalities. As in the old days, we too have precious cargo to get to the other side – only this isn’t coal, cotton, or clay – it is the number of people who need to get back to Blighty for work or family commitments ( e.g. christmas !) – we estimate 230 boats circa 5 crew each flying home – that’s a lot of booked flights.

Strictly speaking the race is not run under the full international sailing federation ( ISAF ) rules so the organisers are allowed to alter rules as they like – ( omitting Rules of sailing 52 – use of manual power ). The clever bit is – they don’t tell you until the end of the race what penalty will be applied for engine use. Thus if it was a very light airs race and say everyone used 50 hours motoring then they may apply a relatively low penalty, but if the race committee feel that there was sufficient wind and that using your engine was unnecessary they may apply a higher penalty – the maths involved in this can be head spinning, and we are not too bothered. For us beating our nearest competition, a sistership , coupled with a top 10 place in the race and top 3 in class is our focus – the final overall results will come in late December when the smallest and slowest boat finish – I will update you all once that is known.

Don’t ask about airline tickets – we are very grateful to Rosie’s dad Chris for his help getting us rescheduled with Virgin, and didn’t envy Phil H on board spending 30 min on hold from a satellite phone to a Virgin call centre in UK to change his – ( smart money changes them shortly after the half way mark when you have a better ETA)

For now , a lovely sun rise at 06.30 – as the end of this leg is now firmly in sight baring any mishaps, Sunday night Monday morning in Rodney Bay. if you listen carefully you can hear the base drums of the reggae and smell the rum ?.

The Crew of K 8