Sailing Report

Fastnet–Retired–all OK

We retired from the Fastnet close to the Scilies. A difficult call but as several yachts suffered broken rigs and retired into Eire whilst beating into up to force 7 NW winds. (Force 7 –say 30 sustained knots equals 35 knots across the deck and a gale starts at 34 knots, then add gusts of up to 30% higher and a bit of wind against tide–a bit lumpy or as racing sailors might term it a BFL).

dismasted

Disappointing and some of our close rivals made it round unscathed but some didn’t including one whose skipper had completed his ‘ISAF’ course with Paul a week before the race.

Our start was good and we tacked to and for across our friendly rivals of Irish Offshore Sailing on Desert Star who won the Sea School trophy in the 2015 Fastnet and who we had beaten in the 2016 Volvo Round Ireland.By the time we were at the Needles we were ahead and with the rest of the fleet headed south making the best course we could against the WSW winds. Later with variable winds we continued to do well but a lot of tacks were required until the wind veered NW after a variable period as we approached the Lizard.

Normally crews break before boats and hours of being battered when beating uphill really do hurt. Given the weather forecast are only predictions a bitterly disappointing but justified decision to retire. Geoff’s decision as skipper but with Paul’s full support.