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Fastnet Race 2023 50th Anniversery

With a strong forecast set for the start of the race we were very excited to see what was to come for the race. We were forecast to get out of the Solent before the wind against tide conditions started at hurst however down the track were some big headlands to pass.

The breeze was forecast strong and it certainly delivered. We had 30kts going down the solent and this soon built to solid 38kts TWS outside of hurst and down towards Portland. We sailed in as close as we dared at Swanage and Durlston playing the sea state by ear as we sailed in towards shore. Wind against tide meant we had to keep all headlands way off. Seas 7 miles off Portland were huge and the high freeboard of the 68 was very much needed in these conditions. In fact the boat handled it well with no slamming of the bridge deck only the odd smash of the beam. Even Neal at this stage was impressed by the sea state and he has lots of miles under his belt.

Unfortunately as we tacked down the shore during a watch change with Sidney slipped and broke his leg.It appeared to be a sprain but was actually a break!

He was happy to continue race and we punched upwind to lands end chasing Allegra. At lands end we passed inside lighthouse to cut corner and settled seas meant nice reach conditions to rock. A nice rounding in the dark then TSS and down wind went. Great sailing! Once at sillies we was into power reaching mode. Sat on 28kts flying one hull consistently across the channel was a lot of fun on a boat like this. We had a big wave take out the hydro pack after a big stuff during there down wind session and this meant we was sheeting the main from the rear winch on spare mainsheet, however it turned out to be a great way of sailing the boat. Rather than the hydro button ease you could hear someone trimming which. was a dinghy style sailing approach and felt fast.

After going S of channel islands and catching Allegra who were punching tide at Alderney we a arrived in the dark and rain shortly after Allegra but they took the win.

Fun, fast, wet race with a solid team.


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