Restart and Sprint Zone

Race Restart

So after our pleasant interlude motor cruising through the Doldrums we restart sailing at 2200 with Qingdao starting 4 hours before us but 40 miles behind.
Our pre dawn watch finds pleasant temperatures and a breeze of 10 to 15 knots and slight seas . Cv29 was handing beautifully in the conditions , close hauled on port tack and the whole watch rotates through the helm. A couple of tacks by the watch after us due to windshifts and we are back on what is likely to be a long port tack to Uruguay. The 0600 and 1200 updates put us in first with a 30 mile lead on Qingdao .
Afternoon watch more upwind sailing 15 to 20 knots yankee 1 and 1 reef in main. Now within 3 degrees of the equator expecting sweltering humid conditions, instead we’ve got warm weather with a fresh breeze, just so hot down below though. Still 30 miles ahead.

Little further to report ,more port tack close hauled ,getting close to equator . We celebrate the
equator crossing with champagne rather than the traditional porridge pour.
More port tack under white sails into sprint zone.

October 2nd

On our watch we passed through the end of the 300 mile sprint. We had made ground away from Qingdao the whole of the sprint so likely to faster overall through it. In the end we had 3rd fastest time by only 1 second to Dare to Lead. We then bore away for a waypoint toward Uruguay. We came off the breeze further after our watch and we went back on deck to help launch the code 3 spinnaker. We’re flying along now on a reaching course at 12 to 15 knots
Been in a fog last few days . Got a minor cold and it blocked my ears especially the right. Can’t help think how my son must have been when he had this for months. Got a bit shirty with my watch in the time I couldn’t hear I think. As a watch leader it’s tricky sometimes trying to manage the needs of the yacht versus the needs of the individuals , trying to give everyone a fair go while not slowing the yacht down. This pressure is more now we are in a leading position.

oct 2 1600 we’re reaching under code 3 at high speed but soon going too far west due to a significant unexpected windshift.
Evolution city here we come
anti wrap net down
yankee 1 up
spinnaker down
staysail up
yankee down
reef main

so by the time yankee down wind has gone from 18 on beam to 25 on nose
we were in tropical clothes shorts and t shirt which are now soaked through
morning watch , wind dropping yankee 1 up reef shake out ,
wind a bit unpredictable, but we dry out on the afternoon watch
change yankee 2 for 1 and breeze dies out
Qingdao in some different weather maybe making ground

October 4

Early support watch helped get code 3 up . Reaching a wind angles e.g. 120 degrees. Maintaining pace now with Qingdao who are out further to the west. Wind varying 12 to 20 knots ,averaged boat speed 12 knots
last 2 hours of watch,despite breeze

October 5

Woke up to a bonus ,code 2 up. Usually I find if there is a spinnaker change during my sleep hours. The code 3 had come down code 2 up and code 3 packed away and I’d slept through the lot. A bonus seeing most of the recent evolutions had been on our watch.
So more of the same off the coast of Brazil this time downwind in 14 to 18 knots , very pleasant sailing holding off Qingdao 20miles odd to the North West.

October 6 day of everything

Went on deck to go on watch and previous watch struggling with the conditions and code 2 ,and immediately there is a spectacular broach. A call is made for code 2 to come down and code 3 to go up. The tack doesn’t blow due to a broken trip line and first mate Jorge goes forward to spike the tack. Kite dropped and code 3 up pretty much straight away. The breeze gradually increases hitting 30 knots toward the end of our watch. There is some exhilarating sailing as the yacht hits speeds of up to 19 knots. Just glad it was dark as I couldn’t the sea that was gradually building behind us.
An hour after watch change the sea state builds and breeze builds. There are multiple broaches including a spectacular one where a 1/3 of the boom is in the water ,and even Jorge can’t control the yacht. We go up as support watch to drop the kite and put up the yankee 1 and proceed under white sails.
On our afternoon watch we have the rough sea state and a steadily dropping breeze so we re hoist the code 2.By watch end yacht is flagging round in a very low breeze.

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