Budding crew for this years Fastnet were treated to the required pool dunking the other weekend, part of the offshore safety training we put everyone through for the campaign.
And the intensity didn’t stop there with the first race to Le Harve over the bank holiday. This was the first offshore sailing, yet alone race for some members of the crew so trepidation and nerves were fought back with adrenaline alone.
With the weather maps fluctuating from the sublime to the ridiculous in the week running up to the start, it had been interesting to follow and certainly didn’t disappoint in terms of delivery.
Light airs on Saturday morning and tide dragging us towards the startline, the focus was on staying behind the start to ensure we weren’t on-course-side before the gun went off.
As we headed east out of the Solent in what could loosely be described as a beat up to Owers Buoy the wind slowly started to fill in.
A short hop north to Littlehampton allowed us to fly the Code Zero for the first time, whoo hoo! Let’s just say that there are lessons to learn in how to get it down and she now needs a good soft water clean!
Once at the mark just south of Littlehampton, the long leg over the channel and southbound for France! For the novices onboard this was the first experience of a 12 hour leg!
Crossing the finishing in Le Harve at 03:41 BST, 18 hours, 31 mins after the start, we made our way into Le Harve. First time I’ve been into the harbour but little did I know at the time that we would then spend the next 48hrs there! The front that had promised to come across did indeed, slowly moving east and preventing us from making the trip home.
We finally managed to depart for home at 20:00 BST, 24hrs after our intended crossing time! Irony is we had to motor due to lack of wind!