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Crew member on GBR3205L Star Chaser

Racing the Fastnet in style

It can be a real slug, beating along the English Channel and across theCeltic Sea.

So you might as well do it in style!

Sofar, food has been excellent, with great chicken curry and amazingshepherd's pie for dinner. And we just had Leon's famous Dutch potatosalad.a real treat!

Everybody has had some massive sleep on their off watch as well over thelast 12 hours so everybody is in great spirits!

The fact that the sun is finally shining again after 2 day probably helps aswell.although we're back to the old trade off: sun but not much wind.

Luckily it is picking up a touch again, but over lunch we had a meager 6knots apparent.not quite enough to take off for a 23T Swan!

Back to 12 knots now, with sunshine, after a wet evening and night withplenty of wind. Got down to No3 and a reef at some point.

Currently sailing north in between the Traffic Separation Scheme and theWest coast next to Land's End, crew fully motivated to keep the boat goingas fast as we can.

We're 14 crew for this race: Will and Charles Wrightson, two brothers fromthe States with lots of Newport Bermuda races under their belt; Andy, whoraced the RORC Caribbean 600 with us; Tim, our classy Englishman, who likeHugh, Fozzie and Matt, has done the whole Fastnet Campaign with us; Leon(watch leader), our crazy Dutch man, who you might remember from last year'sARC; Hugh, who has had a steep learning curve and is greatly enjoying itafter he got over his initial bout of sea sickness; Fozzie, our residentclown and dwarf, who always gets a laugh out of anybody or at least areaction of some sorts! (As I am writing this he has done it again - notsomething I could write down in the public sphere, but the way he hasmanaged to wake a fellow crew member up who was seriously out has all of uspissing ourselves with laughter right now!)

Then we have Peter, our token Ozzie man, who is a very happy man after lastweekend (we think, as we didn't actually get the final results, but therewasn't much hope for the English when we left.); Luigi, our multinationalman, who is half Italian, half Uruguayan but lives in Switzerland and stillmanages to get loads of offshore racing done; Martin, our newbie, who isvery keen to learn and is doing very well -helped by Rusty he trusty littledog who is racing with us. Must surely be the first dog to do the FastnetRace! Diana, who has already done two Caribbean Regattas with us (HeinekenSt Maarten en the Antigua Sailing Week) and some of the qualifiers and isabsolutely loving it. She's almost done more days on the water this yearthan I have. And an old acquaintance, Matt (watch leader), who, apart fromlots of racing and passages on Star Chaser, was with Boogie and myself onStar Chaser for the 2007 Rolex Fastnet Race.

And then there is Boogie of course, skippering the boat, keeping everybodyon their toes and safe at the same time and myself, trying to navigate usaround that famous Rock!

A good bunch and we've already had some great evenings out - it is promisingto be a good night out in Plymouth.

Before that though, we've got the rock to think about - 164nm to go acrossthe Celtic Sea; we'll try to get a pick or two while racing past!

Marlies Sanders

Star Chaser - GBR3205L

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