Rolex Fastnet Race Archives

Blogs 2011

Crew member on GBR5963T Pyxis

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This is the first blog from Pyxis as the first few hours of the race were pretty lumpy and moderately windy so life on board consists of just sailing, eating and sleeping, since then we have had no phone signal. Let me introduce ourselves. We are Kirsteen and Judith, a double-handed crew and we think maybe the only all female crew in the race? Double handed sailing is great fun - especially on a long race as we do not have the issue of storing too many crew, kit and food which affords us more space and the chance to eat really well. Last night chicken savoyard - fantastic. Tonight is homemade balti - yum - no dried food or boil in the bag for us just home cooked meals frozen down. Breakfast this morning - warm apple turnover washed down with Kirsteen's home made lemon, mint and honey juice - tastes great and stops scurvy even if it looks like bilge water :-)) The drawback of double handed sailing is that blogs are more difficult as we only have one on watch at once, the other sleeps so we had to wait for a quieter period and allow the auto helm to steer for a while, even then keep having to break off to trim sails - we are racing after all. We do 2hrs on 2hrs off which is always tough the first night till the body gets used to it, then it gets much easier. Last night was fabulous though, clear starry night, almost full moon all night and lots of shooting stars. Its great being at sea - no light pollution. I have just been watching a gull soaring around then diving for its lunch - nature is amazing! So on to our course so far which took us a way into the channel to avoid foul tide at Portland Bill as we are one of the slower handicap boats. We then had a tack to make sure we avoided the shipping traffic separation zone off Les Casquets (N of Channel Islands). We had a short tack to avoid a ship as it was really busy beyond the separation zone, although most were good and avoided us. We have now tacked on a big wind shift and heading back towards the UK mainland and hoping the wind direction is kind making it easy to get through the separation zones round the Scillies then off to find the rock. J&K signing off for now and hoping we get some signal so this can send.


Judith Eastwood BSc

Crew member on GBR731T Tanit

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First day over and all things are good on the wee blue bus!! A good first

day, weather looking good for the next while, next stop THE ROCK!!!

Crew member on CHN99 Team Sanya


Mike Sanderson, Skipper blog update at 0845 Mon 15th August

We were happy with our start, tough going getting straight into

short tacking, not really done much of that in our short practise days!

Speed is ok - but not 'fast', managing to hang in there with the other 2

guys which is good. Our incident with a class 40 pushed us back to the

wrong side, threw us off balance and gave the others a jump ahead. We are

racing hard, eating and sleeping well, good spirit on board. We decided to

cut the corner at Lands End which is momentarily paying off and putting us

in the lead - good for spirit, we'll take that!

Will update again at the rock - cheers Mike

Crew member GBR1R ICAP Leopard

Monday 15 August - 13.00 BST

To be leading such a great fleet almost from the beginning of the race is a

huge thrill, but now we really come under attack. It is clear that whoever

wins over the line will break our record of some 44 hours by a good margin.

Rambler have been disadvantaged from when they broke their J2 in the Solent

as the majority of the race so far has been under 14 knots. As the breeze

builds as expected we can expect a real dog-fight on the remaining 100 miles

to the Rock and a rocket ride back to Plymouth.

A lot of fun during the night navigating our way from the Lizard past Land's

End and into the Irish Sea when we were the first to tack north, swiftly

followed by much of the fleet. We are now halfway across the Irish Sea, boat

speed 14 plus knots directly to the Rock which we expect to pass at 16.30

(BST). Rambler is eating away at our lead on our windward hip. All

nail-bighting stuff. Life on board cheerful with usual rubbish jokes with

the Nav station as popular as a Comet store in a riot.

Love to all, Mike Slade

Crew member on FRA06 Virbac Paprec 3

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FRA 06 - Virbac-Paprec 3

15 aot 2011- Le coup de la cuillre

11h Nous avons l'impression d'avoir fait un bon coup aux premires lueurs

du jour en virant les premiers. Entre Land's End les iles Scilly, nous leur

faisons le coup de la cuillre, c'est--dire que nous glissons sous eux avec

plus de vitesse. A priori (nous n'avons pas les classements officiels), nous

sommes en tte avec 3 milles d'avance.

C'est toujours cela et c'est agrable pour le moral mais il faut compter sur

les couples Vincent Riou - Jean Le Cam et Marc Guillemot - Yann Elies pour

ne rien lcher.

Nous attendons le vent fort avec une pointe d'inquitude car en Mer

d'Irlande et en particulier au Fastnet, ce n'est jamais anodin. La

trinquette (voile d'avant pour le gros temps) est poste depuis une heure.

Le bateau et les marins sont prts !

LS bord de Virbac-Paprec 3