What an Awesome race! It was a cold rainy morning when we set off for the start of the Mini Transat from Dz. I was one of the first boats off the dock and was towed to the harbour enterance where I hoisted the sails and started my pre race checkes.
With 2 minutes to go I found a nice slot on the line, and with 20 seconds to go I began to power the RG650 up to full pace, hitting the line at full speed right next to the committee boat!
A great work up the bay of Dz which was very compeditive. I had a near miss with another leading boat and our boats kissed as we both altered course to avoid collision. I conducted my penalty turns as a safety measure then carried on with the hard slog up the bay.
By the time we got to the Raz de Sein, and I was in the front fleet . The Raz was basically boiling with confuesd waves and sea, and it was pretty crazy. As soon as it settled down I hoisted my code 0, and cranked it. Sadly the pole silpped, and the Code 0 went over the side, and it took me about 10 minutes to recover it back onboard. By this time I had lost the front fleet so I reverted to my orriginal plan and made some more ground to windward to get the next shift.
The shift came on schedule and I hoisted the code 5, and absolutly smashed it down wind, I was flying, the boat was just on fire, doing solid 15 to 16kts. When the wind began to swing, I dropped the code 5, rehoisted the code 0, and as the wind bent round more I began to work to windward.
I had three different stratergies for this race, my own, a raccomendation from Jean Yves Bernot, and a stratergy from Herve Gautier. The stratergy from Herve was working like clockwork, and combining this with the weather data I had, and comparing it with my other stratergies, I worked my way to windward, playing the shifts that came with every new front of the confuesed weather system.
By the evening of day two I had not seen another boat for about 24 hours, and had lost all radio contact with the support boats and rest of the fleet. I guessed I was either doing really well, as the shifts were working well, so I carried on.
The race committee broadcast that there was very strong wind comming, and to head south. I was already a long way south, and I had just got a good shift to the west, so I took it and put the nail in the coffin for the rest of the fleet. It was a very bumpy ride, and every time the RG fell off a wave, I was sure that there wold be some damage, the impact was so extreme. Imagine crashing your car into a wall every two minutes for two days, that is what the it was like!
In the evening sked at 1800 on day three, I was only 40nm from Cape Ferrol. The wind dropped and veered to the north, indicating a strong system was approaching. I made the most of the light wind and wind shift and hoisted my code zero. I was doing 10kts towards Ferrol, and was leading in Series Class when the race committee abandoned the race.
Overall Im very happy and amped for the next start… I have proved the RG650 is fast, and we have the potential to win the Mini Transat 2013!!!