Fastnet 2015 – Artemis 77

Conrad Manning Racing_Fastnet15

As per forecast we all started in no wind! Even the 120ft Spindrift struggled to get off the line! Thankfully we managed to get the boat moving enough to exit the Solent ahead of Figaros, 60s and Class 40s! Well… that was till it all came crashing down.

The main that is! The main halyard soft shackle either untied or snapped… Did make things more interesting as we both went up and found a satisfactory solution till the wind went down. When the sun went down Will went back up to secure the main by hooking a safety line to the back stay (to keep him up there as the other halyards didn’t reach to the top) and lashing a dyneema line over the crane.

Light patches haunted our progress till a massive hole stopped the whole fleet. Frustratingly the lead Redshift and Chatham had, meant they slipped through and kept going. The wind didn’t get much better all day, except for the seal just bobbing there probably thinking “What on earth are these big mulitcoloured things bobbing around” oh and the fish going mad around the boat at night. The wind let 37 Aaron/Kit and 23 Hammy/Mary have a few more legs than us.

When the clouds rolled in, the sun slipped down and the rain started to fall, the wind finally started to blow… So, as anyone would do, we put the kite up and really started to send it towards the rock. To give you an idea, imagine doing 30, in a car, at night, down country lanes with twists and turns with the wind lashing your windscreen. That was what it was at 2am so neither of us had had much sleep from the broaches and sheer adrenaline.

The night of little sleep paid off by taking us from last to 3rd and with nearing the TSS we dropped to have the optimum angle for the jib which lead to taking the wide route to the lighthouse. It wasn’t helped by the massive seas and near Vestas moment (too soon?)

Thankfully we were in for a lush trip back, albeit with threatening clouds and Redshift being tantalisingly close. Even the standard N/S divide at the Scilly’s TSS wasn’t too difficult to decide as everyone went South! To round the drag race home off was varying fog from the tip of your nose to a few miles… It was quite spooky having things just appear out of the gloom requiring sharp reactions at times!

All in all, we were pleased with our position behind two of Britain’s top Figaro sailors, frustrated at the main halyard, but that is sailing. Hopefully we will both grow from that race and keep that lead we had in two years time!

Video: To come!

Results: 3rd in Figaro Class

We'd love to hear from you!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.