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Crew member on GBR4601L Fair Do's VII

Update - Monday 1523GMT

At the end of Day 1 at sea things are largely going to plan.

We wanted to start well and managed a relatively clean inside start near the squadron with only two to worry us on the inside. In the end it was the port tack, cross the fleet, approach that won the best start, however we were happy with where we ended up. Must have been a great sight from the shore with the hundreds of spinnakers.

Down the solent was challenging. The sea breeze no longer dominated with the more northerly gradient giving those who stuck north shore rather than in the tide benefiting. Those that got too greedy lost out by lymington. We managed to time it right, diving south to the channel where we transitioned from a 10knt NE to a 8knt WSW. This gave us the lead in class zero out of the solent.

It was tough to defend all the way to portland. We attempted to get ourselves positioned for least tide as we were about 2 hours too late for the gate. Unfortunately a shift to the NW meant we ended up losing out to those the took the more northerly- low of rhumb line, course.

As the breeze died out we had to chose between offshore and inshore. We knew the wind was going to come back from somewhere between SW and W, but also knew long term we wanted right hand side for the expected right shift.

The game is playing out as I type. Not sure who is going to win out compared to our closest competitors, but we've had a favourable shift so far - so fingers crossed. We've now got to work out how to catch the Spanish - they appear to be sailing very well at the moment. On top of this the 14-18 G22 knots is probably benefiting their 52ft vs our 46ft!

No sign of any early challenges for the golden duvet award. Most are under the influence of immodiam and more than comfortable after 24hrs. I'm now.supposed to be offwatch - but on a mission to locate some haribo. Hopefully the minister of the interior won't catch me.

Praying the wind gods keep honouring our requests for a quick race!

JG

Helm

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