There are less than 24 hours until Yachting World's Jo Cackett sets off onboard Puma Logic, a Reflex 38 in the 2005 Rolex Fastnet.
Australian born Jo, who has spent the last year building up to the race sees this as the pinnacle of some hard training and racing. In a last interview before the start we found out what is going through Jo’s mind.
There is no disguising the mix of trepidation and excitement in Jo’s voice, on the one hand the race has been major part of her life for many months, on the other she is about to start a race that has claimed lives and boats. There has also been a personal struggle for Jo, as you read the accounts of her RORC qualifying races YW Fastnet website you start to feel the pain of someone who suffers from appalling sea sickness and has a determination to plough on regardless.
The crew are currently loading the Reflex 38 with supplies and checking safety equipment they expect to try and get their last good night’s sleep before slipping into a watch programme of six hours on six hours off in the day, and four hours on and off at night. Jo sees this as an improvement on the three hours on three hours off that she has endured during the training.
After recent success in the qualifying races the team believe they are at their peak and know that there is no room for slacking. Jo herself believes the key is keeping up the pressure through the night and always making sure boat speed is kept as high as possible.
The team are discussing tactics this afternoon, taking into account the latest weather reports, but it looks as though it should be a quiet start and Jo has a secret hope that there will be a nice smooth ride to the rock. Seasickness which has been such a thorn in her side is not the first thought on Jo’s mind during preparations but still a nagging concern. Having tried several different remedies, both herbal and physical there has been no choice but to take seasickness tablets as soon as the weather looks as though things could get rough.
In a race renowned for its harshness you cant help but feel for her. Jo’s biggest worry?
“I am not looking forward to the Irish Sea, upwind is my worst time and I know by far the hardest, the Irish Sea is a harsh place and I know I must keep taking the tablets even though I feel a bit drugged up”
You will be able to read an account of the race in Jo’s eyes when she finishes the 608 mile race in Plymouth which she is hoping will be sometime on Thursday -conditions permitting. Click here to read about the training Jo has done and read her personal accounts. YW Fastnet website