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The race so far for Rosebud Team DYT

Rosebud/Team DYT in the 2009 Rolex Fastnet RaceTuesday 11th AUG 1300 GMT

Boat Captain on Roger Sturgeon's STP 65, Rosebud sums up the Rolex Fastnet Race so far...

Fourteen boats were on our start line and we started the race at the leeward end of the line in good position with the rest our fleet. We were pulling bearing on Luna Rossa (who started at the weather end of our line) for the first 5 minutes after the start when we decided to gybe away to what we thought we be better pressure and let us escape the power boat wake from the boats chasing RAN.

What a mistake that gybe was. We found ourselves caught between the two different breeze directions and our competition sailing away from us. The run out the Solent turned into a beat for the last 2 miles to the Needles and our rhythm did not improve. In short, we were terrible getting out of the Solent.

We cleared the Solent about two hours after the start and our position improved... for awhile. We worked our way about 2 miles offshore and hooked into a bit more pressure and probably about 15 degrees more port tack lift. This allowed us to get West and to set ourselves up for the gradient pressure coming in 8 hours is key so were happy to take this gain. But we failed to consolidate the gain and instead worked our way further off shore

We are also happy to work our way offshore as the current was starting to shift against us and in about 2 hours and the boats on shore will definitely have more adverse current. Fourteen boats were on our start line and we started the race at the leeward end of the line in good position with the rest our fleet. We were pulling bearing on Luna Rossa (who started at the weather end of our line) for the first 5 minutes after the start when we decided to gybe away to what we thought we be better pressure and let us escape the power boat wake from the boats chasing RAN.

What a mistake that gybe was. We found ourselves caught between the two different breeze directions and our competition sailing away from us. The run out the Solent turned into a beat for the last 2 miles to the Needles and our rhythm did not improve. In short, we were DFL out of the Solent.

We cleared the Solent about two hours ago and a position has improved. We have been able to work our way about 2 miles offshore and hook into a bit more pressure and probably about 15 degrees more port tack lift. Getting West to set ourselves up for the gradient pressure coming in 8 hours is key so we are happy to take this gain. We are also happy to work our way offshore as the current was start shifting against ands in about 2 hours and the boats on shore will definitely have more adverse current

Well, that was our plan and our plan sucked. The rich got richer inshore and those of us that were off shore just had to sit and watch for two painful hours as they sailed away from us. At least the bleeding has stopped (for now). We do expect a significant port tack header in the next 5 hours so possibly that will work to our benefit and we can reduce our losses.

It is 2:00 in the morning and time to go to bed....

Malcolm ... Out

Rosebud / Team DYT

It has been a bit too rough to type for the past 10 hours but now that we have rounded the Lizard, things have smoothed out a bit although we are still beating in 15 knots of breeze.... And will be for another 22 hours. Prior to that it has been rain, fog and some nice slamming.

It is obvious that we messed up the first 10 hours of the race. It is disappointing because in those light air conditions we should have been competitive against RAN and Luna Rossa. Now we will be beating in 15 – 20 knots of wind with very few tactical options so it will be difficult to make any gains for the next 20 hours. For now, all we can do is hope to hold on to the leaders and wait for other opportunities.

All else is well on our boat. We have no breakages to report only a few guy's that are questioning the logic of taking our boat in this race vs. a nice downwind ride to Hawaii... It is hard to come up with an argument for that...

Once interesting bit is that as we pass Land's End, there are people sun bathing on the beach. I guess since it is not raining, it is considered nice weather in these parts.

That's enough typing for now...

Malcolm ... Out,

Rosebud / Team DYT

We have rounded Fastnet rock. During the past 24 hours of beating there has been some joking from the seven crew (including myself) that live in California and who have never participated in the Fastnet Race before, that this race is a bit like starting a race in Marina Del Rey, rounding Point Conception (Land's End) and then beating to the Farallon Islands. Do you think we could get 300 West Coast boats to participate in such a race? I don't think so.

Well now that I have been to Fastnet Rock, I can understand the allure. It is no Farallon Island. We rounded the rock at about 0930 local time and were greeted by a photo helicopter that followed us for about 15 as we rounded the light house. There were also a few photo boats out there to capture the moment. I will hang that photo on wall next to the picture of us approaching Tasmaniain the Hobart Race. This was definitely something to remember.

As for the racing, we had a good night. Jules Salter did a great job of calling two long term shifts and we pretty much nailed both of them. The result is that we closed on all the leaders and rounded the about 14 minutes behind Luna Rossa.

There is a great deal of race course left but it sure has helped our spirits on board to feel like we are back in this race. For now, I am going to enjoy an off watch with A2 spinnaker up with nice level sleeping.

Malcolm ... Out, Rosebud / Team DYT

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