With eighteen boats in the two handed class, it was a busy start line, with no quarter asked and none given, with everyone vying for the pin end, it was inevitable some would be pushed over early and a general recall followed. The second start was just as hectic but we managed to time it perfectly and hit the pin end bang on the button, pleased with our efforts we settled in to the beat to the first mark, which we rounded about mid fleet before setting off on the course proper which kept you off the shallows off Harwich, followed by the wind farms and then North to Smith’s Knoll, across the North Sea to the traffic separation schemes off the Dutch coast , where a buoy and a couple of way points ensured the crossing was at the required ninety degree heading. After rounding a few more buoys we arrived at the finish in Scheveningen.
As the slowest boat in the fleet, we knew if we were to achieve a good result we would have to work hard, and at one time or another, with the exception of the storm sails, we flew every sail on the boat, with the code zero really earning its keep. The big kite was up and down like a yoyo, even executing a few near perfect gybes in the pitch black but funnily enough something we didn’t achieve so well in broad daylight! We peeled from the zero and asymmetric to the big kite a few times so not surprisingly our fist hours ‘off watch’ didn’t come before three am on Saturday morning, with each of us only managing about three hours of interrupted sleep for the whole duration of the race.
We covered two hundred and seven miles in just over thirty hours and the reward at the end of the day was twenty seventh out of fifty six over all, eighth in the two handed class and fifth in class four, taking some good scalps on the way including quite a few 42 ft plus boats as well as Cat Zero the 72 ft Challenge yacht. With competitors from the Netherlands, Belgium, France , England, Ireland, Austria and the USA adding to the international flavour of the event.
During the race there was considerable damage when Luctor 3 and Coin Coin, both Sydney 43’s hit an unlit special mark at 12knots! A report to Trinity House will hopefully ensure the light will be mended. The former unfortunately having to retire with serious structural damage.