The Rolex Fastnet Race 2013 concluded today in classic style with the final finisher, Duet, crossing the line and arriving in Plymouth in the early evening. Christopher Courtauld's 101 year old gaff yawl, sailed by David Cannell, tackled the 608 nm course in 6 days, 6 hours, 31 minutes and 27 seconds.
Whilst they have missed the Friday Prizegiving, they and other competitors are invited to attend a second Prizegiving at the RORC Clubhouse, St James's Place on Tuesday 10th September 2013.
We finally finished knowing that a 10th place would the best we could achieve in the Rolex Fastnet Race 2013. We came closer indeed to Mefisto, but never less than 3,5 Nm whereas we had to finish ahead of them based upon our TCC's. When we finished we were recorded as 10th but two hours later we discovered that Breeze managed to pass on our corrected time by just 28 seconds. Our final place became therefore 11th.
What we did not know is that we did win the S&S Trophy. I believe that we had no more than 5 S&S design boats in this race. The last time we received this price was in 2005. The years thereafter it was steadily won by the beautifull Spanish or Israelian (?) S&S Desperado. After I collected this somewhat overrated trophy on the podium, I asked the Rolex Director if he did not think that this price was at least worth a very mall Rolex, even a tiny one without diamonds or other brilliants. He smiled and said that I should perhaps look better into the trophy itself. You will understand the rest. I never looked.
Though this was oine of Winsome's less succesfull Rolex Fastnet Races, we have had no remorse feelings on anything in this race. The waves in combination with not sufficient wind, made it impossible to keep pace with the modern much lighter boats, especially with their JPK's 10.10. We have tried to find some consolation in the fact that we have kept 75 boats behind us.
In the meantime Boj and Peter Morton announced their intention to participate in the Rolex Fastnet Race 2015. That is very good news in an early stage. Last but not least I wish to make mention of the fact that our loyal supporter Amanda Oliver awaited us in Plymouth, acting again as a volunteer to RORC. Still we have not met her children Andrew and Isabella, but that may happen before Andrew will get his driving licence.
We started to motor back from Plymouth to Cowes and only after we passed Bill of Portland, we set our sails and killed the engine. It took us 98,5 hours. It took David O. May nearly 104 hours in 1971 with a 13th place in IRC-4 Class. Mind you in that time and age Winsome was one of the larger boats in the fleet.
I thank Leen, Paul, Boj, Reima, Floris and Joost N for crewing Winsome this race in an enthousiastic and skilfull way.
Competitors enjoyed a fitting finale to the Rolex Fastnet Race with the prizegiving for the world's largest offshore yacht race being held on Mountbatten Green.
With a backdrop of the Citadel and Plymouth Hoe, the setting where history has it that Sir Francis Drake first spied the Spanish Armada while playing a game of bowls, prizegiving attendees were treated to their own piece of Fastnet history. Almost completely unchoreographed, proceedings coincided with the arrival of the gaff pilot cutter, Jolie Brise, the winner of first ever Fastnet Race in 1925 and still the only boat to have won the race on three occasions.
Since 1977, Dauntsey's School in Wiltshire gained use of the boat and in 2003 finally acquired her. According to her skipper Toby Maris, Jolie Brise last competed in the Rolex Fastnet Race during the 1990s and prior to that not since prior to World War Two.
"We are making very good progress towards the things we want to achieve," Maris said en route to the Rock. "The students have been having a very good sail, we want to complete the race and finish ahead of Duet and we want to enjoy ourselves. It will be an iconic moment when we get around the Rock."
However the 50 tonne pilot cutter is some way from being a state of the art racing yacht. "It is like taking a soggy 50 tonne log upwind!" Maris jokes.
Jolie Brise's fly-by up the Cattewater, en route to the Rolex Fastnet Race hub at Plymouth Yacht Haven, was followed by a magnificent display by the Aerostars Aerobatic Display Team.
The Rolex Fastnet Race has had more than its fair share of high profile female sailors this year.
Of course Dona Bertarelli was the first to finish into Plymouth as the new co-skipper of the world's largest racing trimaran and fastest offshore race boat, the 40m long, Spindrift II. This boat won Rolex Fastnet Race line honours for a second consecutive time.
24 minutes later the Sidney Gavignet-skippered MOD 70 trimaran, Oman Air-Musandam, finished with a crew including not only round the world yachtswoman Dee Caffari, the only woman to have sailed around the world the wrong way, but young Omani sailor, Raiya Al Habsi (25). In a Muslim country where traditionally women haven't been encouraged to take part in sport, the women's squad of sailors at Oman Sail has been both breaking new ground culturally as well as being an inspiration to other young Omani women.
"I can hardly believe I finished the Rolex Fastnet Race," Raiya said on finishing. "It was a little bit tough but the guys were amazing - they took good care of me and taught me a lot and it felt good to be part of such a successful team," said just after they crossed the finish line."
Top sailors including Dee Caffari, as well as America's Cup sailor Katy Pettibone and Liz Rushall have been among those mentoring the Oman Sail women's squad, but Al Habsi's participation in the Rolex Fastnet Race has taken Omani women's sailing to a new level. Team SCA is fielding the first women's team in the Volvo Ocean Race since the Amer Sport campaign in the 2001-2 round the world race. They were competing on board their VO70 training boat in the Rolex Fastnet Race, their first official competitive outing since the sailing team was set up earlier this year. The crew includes British sailor Vendée Globe skipper Sam Davies and Olympic women's match racer Annie Lush, however for the Rolex Fastnet Race it had three male crew acting as coaches.
In total nine women have skippered boats in this year's Rolex Fastnet Race, while there have been three all-women teams, including Girls for Sail, led by Susan Glenny, on the Elan 37, Jumbuck, and Captain Lucinda Allaway on the Joint Services Adventurous Sail Training Centre's Sigma 38, Redcoat.
However the winner of this unofficial championship has been Lucy Reynolds' team on the First 40, Southern Child.
While Lucy and her husband Christian normally run the Swan 51 Northern Child, for the Rolex Fastnet Race Lucy put together an all-female crew, mostly comprising paying guests. For this they chartered a First 40, Southern Child.
Southern Child arrived at 0847 BST on Thursday. "We had a slow last half hour to the race - we drifted across the finish line and then 18 knots immediately kicked in!" recounted Reynolds.
And so the time has come, we made it there and back again and this watery hobbit's tale is complete. WA is tucked up in Plymouth looking like Madame Whatapong's Chinese laundry. The crew are weary but jubilant and Fab is one day older! Thank you to those that honoured the occasion of our arrival with a stirring chorus of happy birthday.
In time honoured Captain Hindsight tradition I will close this blog with a few post race statistics:
Miles covered - 622 (guesstimate from Skippy as despite being gadgetted up like NASA, he can't answer this!)
Hours on watch - whatever the correct answer to the above is, multiplied by 24 .... Do the maths!
Hours at 20degrees - too many but 77 has been floated by our random number generator
Ice creams consumed - 0
Ice creams not consumed due to pesky fridge fairies - 15 grrrrrrr rant grrrrrrr
Really heavy extra water carried onboard unnecessarily - 140l
Surplus supplies - Too much, far too much .... Let's go round again
Max surfy knot age achieved - 10.8knots
Max speed recorded by bodgery gadgety widget thing - 54.4knots (must have been when Wrighty was driving)
Smiley crew members - 7
Broken crew members - 1
Sympathy count - 0
Bruise ratio - 8.7 per capita
Chopping boards started with - 1
Chopping boards finished with - 2
Zzzzzs achieved - plenty but only in short bursts
Sail changes - 2
Romantic encounters between Mr & Mrs Skippy on the foredeck to resolve wonked spinnaker peel issue - 1
Dolphins encountered - 41
Basking sharks basking - 1
Hippopotamuses observed - 1 (standard variety, not sea genus)
Tea bag count - 103
Karen's chocolate count - quote from the lady herself "do you know what, I have had hardly any chocolate this trip". Me thinks she doth protest too much! Final scores on the doors = 24
Post race beers consumed - 28
Post race beers distributed over fellow crew members - 1 (thanks Karen)
Giggles generated from dire jokes ( excluding bloggers porpoise special) - more than deserved
Naked-o-meter - 14 (well over quota)
That's all until 2015 folks! Happy sailing and a safe trip home one and all!
Of the record breaking-sized fleet of 337 boats that set sail from the Solent last Sunday at the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race, the majority has now finished in Plymouth. Just 14 boats are still racing with the classic Fife gaff yawl, Duet, bringing up the rear, having only broken the '200 miles-to-go' barrier earlier this morning.
One of the latest arrivals this morning has been the Sigma 33c, Elmarleen, sailed by Will Sayer and Tim Paull. Significantly Sayer won the Two Handed class in the Rolex Fastnet Race two years ago aboard Elmarleen.
He had been hoping to repeat his success this year. Unfortunately conditions conspired against Elmarleen, as Sayer observes: "We have come in about six hours ahead of last time but this time we haven't done half as well. This year it was neither a big boat nor a little boat race - Class 2 and 3 have dominated."
The smallest, slowest boats in the fleet had to endure a very light first 48 hours. Sayer adds that they were unlucky after passing Portland Bill, when the bulk of the fleet managed to duck into Lyme Bay to get out of the worst of the foul tide, while Elmarleen had remained offshore.
While the Maxis were being becalmed off the Scilly Isles on the way back from the Fastnet Rock, the smaller boats suffered the same fate only with the return journey across the Celtic Sea still ahead of them. Sayer reckons it took them a whole day just to crawl from Land's End to the north of the Scillies. "We were lolloping around doing 2-3 knots, knowing that everyone else was in better wind ahead - it was very painful."
Todd Wells, owner of J/109, Je Vante, has a dry sense of humour, cultivated from decades of working with top rock bands, including Dire Straits.
There were 21 J/109s entered into this year's Rolex Fastnet Race - the 45th edition - creating the largest one-design class racing under IRC. Todd Wells' Je Vante crossed the finish line nearly two hours ahead of the rest, to win the battle of the J/109s. Todd and his crew are all amateurs; none of them even work within the maritime industry. For them, the Rolex Fastnet Race is the pinnacle of a long hard season of offshore racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club.
"Having sailed on other people's yachts for years and annoyed most of the owners, I realised that I would have to do the Rolex Fastnet Race in my own boat because nobody wanted to have me," laughed Todd with a wry smile.
The father and son team from Cherbourg, France sailing the JPK 1010 Night n Day have won the overall Fastnet Challenge Trophy on handicap, some 33 minutes ahead on corrected time of another JPK 1010 Foggy Dew in second. This is the first time in the Rolex Fastnet Race's 88 year history that a two-handed entry has won.
The writing was on the wall when they claimed the RORC Channel Race outright at the end of July, but the French father and son team of Alexis and Pascal Loison have pulled it out of the hat again, successfully winning the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race.
While the Royal Ocean Racing Club's premier offshore event has featured a doublehanded class for a long time, this is the first occasion in its 88-year history that the Rolex Fastnet Race has been won by a doublehanded crew.
Night And Day, the Loisin's 33ft long JPK 1010, crossed the finish line off Plymouth Breakwater at 07:19:57 BST this morning (Thursday 15 August), with an elapsed time for the 611-mile course of 3 days 18 hours 29 minutes and 57 seconds. Under IRC, their time corrected out to being 33 minutes and 17 seconds ahead of the second placed yacht, another example of the French-built JPK 1010, Noel Racine's Foggy Dew.
The Rolex Fastnet Race Village has burst into life with a flurry of finishing boats arriving in Plymouth during the night. Over 200 yachts have finished the 45th edition of the race and with entries from 20 different countries and crew from many more, there is a cosmopolitan blend of sailors enjoying the atmosphere in the purpose-built village situated within Plymouth Yacht Haven.
The camaraderie between the competitors in this year's race is typified by Géry Trentesaux, skipper of Courrier Vintage and Piet Vroon, skipper of Tonnerre de Breskens, who have been sharing a few memories over coffee in the Rolex Fastnet Race Village. The two great grand masters of corinthian yacht racing hail from different countries and have enjoyed fierce competition over many years but they are also good friends. "We have known each other for about 40 years and there is mutual respect, not just for sailing but also in terms of personality. I am sure that will never change," commented Piet Vroon, 83, who has completed his 25th Fastnet Race.
At just 24 years of age, Nikki Curwen wasn't even born when Piet Vroon has completed over a dozen Fastnets but the budding British sailor crossed the finish line in Artemis 77, winning the Figaro Class. "It hasn't sunk in yet, but today I am just going to chill out and enjoy the Race Village, chatting with my friends and catching up with my Dad who was racing on a Class40. I don't think it is very different for a girl to be here amongst all the male crew, we are all racing sailors and that is what really matters."
As we drift closer homewards the good ship lollipop has had a spruce up, hose down and is festooned for celebrations. We will arrive in Plymouth in style!
We will all also be clean as compulsory showers were ordered by management in response to the accumulation of 5 days of festiness.
Last night saw an exciting sleigh ride round the Scillies in 20+knots of breeze. Nothing quite beats a 2am spinnaker hoist and the ensuing Cheshire Cat grins of a weary but reanimated crew that have got the cream. Surfing down waves at 10+knots .... Such fun!
It also meant a lag in watch change over so apologies one and all ... your friendly blogger does not function well with only 3 hours sleep and the added luxury of spending those in a full set of wet sweaty waterproofs waiting to be called back on deck. It took a full on 6am charm offensive from Wrighty and Skippy plus a vat of tea and bacon & egg muffin to restore world order.
In the last 24 hours and to motivate his motley crew, Skippy has unleashed his special Fastnet joke. From bitter experience these are much funnier if you work backwards from the punchline so feel free to go wild in the aisles with ...
"his face rings a bell"
"he's a dead ringer for his brother"
For the record, we did try and exchange him on the way to the start line but the officials on the identity gate boat were reluctant to give up valuable chocolate or tea bags. If anyone is interested in a part-abused but well trained skipper we can offer you a good deal! Oh ... He might be a weeny bit broken with a suspected cracked rib ... But with the right tlc and a bit of epoxy will be right as rain!
The trip down the coast from land's end has been uneventful. All cake and balloons aside, we have worked our cotton socks off to try and pull back some distance on Persephone. It might not have paid dividends but we have had fun trying.
Birthday Angel cake and Guinness have just been served on deck as the WARTs reflect on what has been a spectacular tromp to the rock and back.
Thank you With Alacrity Race Team .... We might not have won but you guys truly rock!
Movers and shakers are:
And yours truly ... Pants
Newsflash: Father and son win 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race
For the first time in its 88 year history, the Rolex Fastnet Race has been won by a doublehanded crew.
The father and son team of Pascal and Alexis Loison from Cherbourg, France on the JPK 10.10, Night and Day, arrived at 07:19:57 BST this morning making their elapsed time 3 days 18 hours 29 minutes and 57 seconds for the 611 mile race.
Winning the overall IRC prize in the Rolex Fastnet Race means that Pascal Alexis Loisin will receive the Fastnet Challenge Cup as well as a Rolex Chronograph.
More Race information will follow in our Evening Race Update.
Finally, on Wednesday 14th of August at 0345 UTC, we rounded the Fastnet Rock, or is it called nowadays Rolex Fastnet Rock?
We rounded it rather close, much closer than many of our competitors, I could observe on AIS, but not as close as Rambler in 2011 (?), so our keel did not get into any danger of hitting a rock.
I tried to catch a glimpse of the beam of the Light house. Have a look what we did see in a pitch dark night with fog creating bad visibility.
We rounded the spreader mark Pantaenius. I am content having contributed to the cost of their buoy via my insurance premium, paid to them for Winsome.
Because of the newly dictated Traffic Separation Schemes [TSS}, areas we may not enter, we encountered boats like the old Gaff Yawl DUET coming up North to round the Rolex (?) Rock [RR] since they kept the TSS at the RR on starboard. In my view the Pantaenius spreader buoy should be moved a couple of Miles to the West in order to be effective. New rules need to be accompanied by a new route in this case. Same may apply for the passage of Lands End on our way to the RR. Looks like some homework is awating the Racing Committee of RORC.
The most expensive option would be to reposition the RR. The easiest, but lcertainly the least attractive, would be to replace RR by Wolf Rock.
We then negotiated Bishop Rock by passing it at less than 0,3 Nm (on the correct side). The beam of the light house looked frightening in (again) pitch dark night.
Winsome is now looking not exactly as when we started. The next photo may give you an impression.
Sometimes we need a small nap. One time I did it on deck, functioning simply as deadweight to assist the helmsman not to broach under spinnaker. If I remember well the photo was taken between Pantaenius and Bishop Rock.
Again we never could make good speed with Winsome until we rounded Bishop Rock and came into flatter water. Now it feels we have good speed but there is no chance anymore for an even acceptable score. Sailing is different from a TT Race.
We will have to lick our wounds in Plymouth. When writing this blog we are only 27 Nm away from the finish. Last year we thought in this position that we had won our Class but then all of a sudden the wind dropped and kept us floating for more than 6 hours.
Already now I wish to congratulate Foggy Dew with their victory. Bien fait Noel Racine et votre equipage. On se verra a Plymouth dans un bar ou restaurant!
Big boys do not cry so let us celebrate, in the proper manner, the victory of the best in this race.
Will be continued after we have finished.
Thanks to our supporters having read our blogs. The Winsome tea spoon will be sent to you soon.
Yesterday, Tuesday the race continued. Business as usual. Watches of 4 hours in day time, 3 hours in night time. At 0200 UTC we covered 237 Nm, already 15 Nm less than Foggy Dew. It looks we cannot keep pace with Noel Racine and his crew. I personally had the feeling that speeds recorded in the instruments are less than usually, but perhaps we have to attribute this idea to a false feeling because we are not sailing in front of our Class IRC-4. I asked already if we perhaps would have been running into some fish nets (?). The rudder is behaving fine, the sails are looking in good shape, the crew is alert and the food is excellent.
Weather predictions would be a backing wind in the Celtic Sea to SW 4-5.
During this day both Foggy Dew and Wasabi have enlarged their lead on us, to such an extent that we must consider them lost for this Fastnet Race i.e. we will not be able to beat them this time unless one of them would hit one of the rocks around Bishop Rock something which we not even hope for. They are good boats and fair competitors. Another year will be for us perhaps. Still I have not discounted Iromiguy though really very far behind us. Jean Yves may have another rabbit in his hat, Let us wait and see.
In the early evening we made an unwanted tack and the spreader made a hole just behind the patch of Genoa. A minus point for our sailmaker, the patch simply being too short but it is not the time to argue this issue right now. Reima, our Finnish ex-sailmaker made a quick repair and the Genoa worked after that fine again. I am not sure if I can get two photographs over from my phone but if so you will find them here below.
During this race we sometimes talk about other matters than only this race. One of the bits and pieces was that Reima may not be in a position to sail Winsome in the Sevenstar Brittain & Ireland Race 2014 and that Floris is looking for a job on super yacht after this season for 12 months to earn some money during a break in his medical study. If this is correct than Winsome will not be able to participate. Richard is still struggling with his back and I will be then nearly 70 years. Not a problem perhaps but I do not intend to copy either Piet Vroon nor Ken Newman. Jan and Pieter (van Balkom) be forewarned, we will find another race perhaps Cowes-Dinard starting 11th of July or the Rolex China Sea Race in April or the Middle Sea Race in October. Thus some thought for food.
Both Piet and Ken are sailing the present Rolex Fastnet race. Great ambassadors for our sailing sport. Piet on board of his Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens, and Ken on board of his usual Swan 46 called Marinero, owned by David Gower. Ken is in good company of Andy Cassell who helmed Winsome succesfully in several Cowes Weeks and Round the Island Races. I wonder how Ken and Andy will survive such a long period without any drop of alcohol on board. Time will tell.
In spite of the fact that we have no chance to win this race anymore, we are having a good time and nice sailing.
Will be continued.
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As most of you keen backseat WARTers will be aware, we chose the more radical but much more scenic route north as we fell off the end of England. The plan was perfect, the execution slightly thwarted by a cheeky drop in wind. But hey ho that's what it's all about. In the game of Sigma 38 cat and mouse, we believe Mefisto went west and then headed north after the TSS, Persephone kept on west.
A note for those who have not passed Nautical terminology 101 - TSS = traffic separation scheme. In the usual course of events the merry band of Fastnet warriors would be playing ship frogger to cross the TSS, weaving their way between hulking great ships manned by one man and his dog. These gadzillion tonne monsters of the seas travel a) at an alarming rate of knots and b) hunt in packs and in their path a tupperware tub is nothing but driftwood. However, the lovely lovely people of RORC have cunningly marked these as exclusion zones on the race course. Thus making the job of man and dog easier whilst adding an extra dimension of tactical fun to our race.
Oh well we rolled our dice early and will see who pops out where from behind the skirting board. The slog across the Irish Sea has been spent playing the sailing equivalent of "spot the ball" using the magic witchcraft of grib files and intermittent 3G. The wind gods have not been unkind and with a steady 15+knots we trucked up towards the big rocky thing at a cracking pace. For those of you monitoring the tracking etchasketchers closely you may notice a sudden alteration of course towards the second TSS. A minor moment of muppetry thwarted well by Super Skippy.
At this point I must introduce the latest feature of good ship With Alacrity - the naked navigator. A novel but slightly disturbing addition to our quiver of USPs. Am all for technology but being briefed by a dude in the nude wielding an ipad from under the duvet is just WRONG ... So wrong!
Nb - yes, I did say "duvet" ... All the comforts of home on WA.
The rain gods on the other hand are no longer on our Christmas card list. What started as spizzle soon turned to drizzle, then a bout of sea fret and, to top it all off, a special midnight deluge! No sign of Rockstar Wrighty "sudding up" as apparently it wasn't the "right kind of rain" and "too cold". Man up princess!
Visibility overnight reduced to less than half a mile and the stars stayed well and truly tucked up behind the clouds. Steering a straight line became an epic challenge as with no points of visible reference our sole focus was the evil red compass eye of Sauron.
We did however see dolphins... Lots of dolphins. Why were they there? We don't know but they must have had a porpoise .... Boom boom
Our arrival at the rock was appropriately anti-climactic. Primarily because we couldn't see it ... Any of it! Secondly, the breaking news that both Mefisto and Persephone were already round and romping away towards the Scillies. Thirdly, and most frustratingly, no sign of Pedro, or ice cream or any donkeys - rock-hopping or not!
The WARTs are now on a mission! With the kite up we are in hot pursuit of our quarry, blasting downwind(ish) at 8.5+knots.
With a BLT for brekkie, sparkling sunshine and the rock marking the official point in the race for the changing of crew pants, morale is back up and we are once again fragrant and raring to go.
Tea bag count - 62
Dolphin's spotted - 34
Chocolate consumed by Karen (a slight improvement) - 4
We are currently surging down the south coast of Cornwall at 8 knots COG. Closing on Plymouth with every minute and our epic trip is nearly done. Well unless the wind has more nasty tricks to play.
Time for a small bear to reflect on his trip;
When I met the Jivaro crew on the Friday before Cowes Week I didn't know how they would respond to me, it's not every day a small Bear comes along and announces he is coming sailing with you. Team Larry did offer to take me if the Jivaro crew wouldn't, but they have warmed to me and we are now good Friends.
Many highlights but I think watching the Dolphins playing in the fluorescing algae last night has to come out tops. After the disappointment of the weather on rounding the Rock it was amazing to watch these incredible creatures tearing through the water leaving the patterns of their tracks in their wake. The pod which followed us across came to Jivaro upwards of 20 times and we came to feel they were 'Our Dolphins'. We missed them on our return trip.
Biggest disappointment has to be discovering that a French crew didn't have wine on board for dinner! Nor Rum for medicinal purposes either. Quel surprise.
As for the racing? Small Bears don't really care about that, well I do but more important in this case has been the chance to make new friends and spend time with lovely people in an unusual and often stressful environment and come out as firm friends.
My thanks to Yves and his crew for taking to me and allowing me to sail with them. My apologies for the erratic Bear food management system, it is loosely based on the See Food Diet.
More to follow including World exclusive photos of how the greatest mainsheet trimmer ever had his humble beginnings and how the Fastnet rounding photo should have looked as opposed to how it did look.
Sent from my iPhone
Doublehanded IMOCA 60 leaders finish less than a minute apart, ahead of Mini Maxis and VO70
Hiding amid the big monohull finishers that arrived into Plymouth this morning in the Rolex Fastnet Race's, the closest was between the top IMOCA 60s.
Vendée Globe winners François Gabart and Michel Desjoyeaux on the former's MACIF and her sistership Maître Coq (formerly Armel le Cleac'h's Banque Populaire), sailed by Jérémie Beyou and Christopher Pratt, crossed the line off Plymouth breakwater, separated by just 57 seconds after 611 miles of racing.
Most impressively MACIF, sailed doublehanded, arrived at 07:32:19 BST this morning. To put this into context, on the water she beat both of the leading Mini Maxis, Bella Mente and Rán 2, as well as the VO70 Team SCA; all of these boats at least 10ft longer and being sailed with a full crew.
Alex Thomson and Spaniard Guillermo Altadill on Hugo Boss, arrived six minutes after MACIF, behind Team SCA but still ahead of the Mini Maxi. By coincidence this IMOCA 60 podium was the same as this year's Vendée Globe, with Alex Thomson doing an excellent job to hang on to the coat tails of the newer VPLP-Verdier designs.
So we are some were midle into our return accross the irish sea with the rock behind us. So great moments And some not great. After 12 hour's on watch I (Simon on Bow) Managed to persuade Bob the numbers were looking good for a kite. Big mistake!
So having launched it attched to the rail, someone thought I said drop it. Anyway we looked like we were deep sea fishing for a while. Lucky not now As a whale just appeared by the boat. Well the bowman was sent to bed to bed by the skipper. I think the karate kicking irish chef may have fed us to much bread and corn benefits and the healthy protein diet has literally gone to sea.
Then theres ian and I in the Middle of night being told the Christmas tree in front of us is a gas instalation. Funny thing is even thought it's pitch black and poutainen with rain this platform is hunting us. That sir is a very largresse trawler.
The dolphin seem happy though. Checked curry and corn benefits seems to Tarantinon them. Mean karate chef keeps threatening more tuna!
It was a synny Wednesday afternoon flying along with Chris on the helm at 9 knots. Looks like the Windows is shifting and the black clouds are Back As we race toward the Scillys TSS all well and thinking of steak frit and a 99 flake. Blame David and Ian for that one.
Hello again to Louis and Co! We met last Year in malta. You were with your twin brother who was misbehaving.
Yesterday we find reaches all day from bishops up to the rock. We got to Fastnet at 3am on Wednesday. A very dark and we sailed whole night with fishermen all over the place. No breaks for anyone throughout the night. We got our small kite up for a few hour's but the halyard broke and we had to retrieve it from the water.
Rounding the rock was dark and mystic with a small light from two of the windows. Now at 1700 on Wednesday we are 45 miles from bishops final reaching at 8 knts. Everyone in good spirits. Holings to Finnish at 1300 tomorrow Thursday.
Kenny's set up a Chinese laundry, Jacko's not impressed with the drizzly wind, Dave's fettling away and the other watch are sprawled out, snoring down below - not to be see for another 4 hours... But we are finally rounding THE ROCK!
Hopefully it'll be a run home with the tide most the way, Plymouth here we come...!