Thrashing our way up the Scottish coast into freezing cold rain, drizzle and yet more rain is about as unpleasant as it sounds! It has certainly reminded us of how much nicer it was going downwind for the latter part of Race 13. We’ve had quite a bout of seasickness and minor incidents; particularly over the last 12 hours.
Yesterday saw us in a tight duel upwind with Gold Coast Australia. Sailing within miles of St. Kilda, an imposing piece of jagged rock masquerading as an island, was quite an experience. The shifty wind blowing over the leeward side made helming quite a challenge. This, combined with a confused sea state gave us several hours of entertainment whilst Gold Coast Australia gradually worked their way up under our leeward hip. From here skipper Richard Hewson was able to take the helm and nip beneath us in a wonderful display of helming prowess. Shortly after this we decided to start reducing sail as the tide had turned and the chop was getting yet steeper.
The rest of the night is but a blur of sail changes, reefs and tacks.With reduced crew some of the guys had to pull almost double shifts to keep us in the right gear and ensure there were sufficient crew on deck to perform efficient tacks. The team did a great job and this morning finds us having only lost out to Visit Finland, not bad at all considering we nearly lost the Yankee 2 over the side and had to heave too for ten minutes!
There have been some winners and losers on the beat between the Isle of Lewis and the banks south of the Flannan islands; tidal eddies being the main benefactor/culprit. As the front five teams in the fleet approach the Butt of Lewis we are compressing together for the next leg of our sprint roundScotland.
This race could be anyone’s at this rate.