What an amazing day, yesterday was the first race day in the regatta

We sailed with abandonment, craziness, aggression, full throttle … the wind was up to 35 knots and finally the course committee set a good course for huge boats to sail, giving us a long downwind leg, also giving the media an amazing stretch for some fantastic photography. It was also quite scary…. but I suppose on yachts of this caliber that is part of it all when racing as they are designed as cruising yachts that race as well, and we do push them to their limits which being custom designs can sometimes not be judged as nothing like this has been built before. Yes similar but not exactly …

Sailling up wind on the first leg to the first mark to join are competitors of a similar size all vying to get around the mark first and in the end all going around at the same time to get our spinnakers up and flying for the long down wind run… we flew threw the fleet at this stage the sun beating down on us whilst the wind pushed us more and more. Rounding the top mark we sailed into the Maddelena islands on the north eastern tip of Sardinia/ Sardegna, where the wind started to howl and funnel, we had smaller sails up and we sailed on a strong heel passing more yachts along the way until we were through the fleet and out in front!

Tacking up wind through the islands and out back close to the final mark which we rounded and came over the finishing line first in our class… It was a thrill for us all to have done so well, with new crew who had not sailed with us before.  Within minutes of us crossing the line the sails are down on the deck, and the main into the boom… the boat flattens out and sandwiches, coffee and cakes are all up on deck for the hungry crew to consume as we come back into the dock.

The adrenaline flows calm down as we all discuss what we did, how we did it … what we could have done better and how to approach tomorrows race before cleaning up the boat, sails and ourselves. I shot off to the supermarket, buying food for other boats and ourselves for the next few days… the amount of fruit, chocolates, snacks that we go through is something else… mind you with up to 30 of us onboard we do eat a fair amount and when the boys are running around moving sails, sheets they need a lot to keep them going during the day!

The 6 of us living onboard as permenant crew are all shattered, we have to keep the boat looking spick and span with the owners onboard and we try to make it all run as smooth as possible for the race crew coming onboard, so they get clean shirts everyday there is plenty of water, soft drinks and beer to drink and then in the apartments I make sure there is enough food to eat for breakfast so I am running around from the boat to the apartments checking that they are all ok…

Now as for photos… well Lou our stewardess onboard has been given this task to take as many as she can with probably as many cameras as she can and today I am hoping to upload some… hopefully you will be able to see just what is it like being onboard, with her hands on photos…but as for now lettuce must be cleaned, there is a drinks order sitting on the dock waiting to come onboard and breakfast must be made before race day 2 starts, but with the wind gusting up to 35kts we do not think we are sailing today unless it drops….

The sunrise was not as good as the last few days and doing my yoga on deck this morning it was somewhat impossible as we are rolling around in the dock with the water lapping up under the hull, the dock lines at their maximum stretch as well all move with the surge and wind…. lets hope this wind drops and we can go out sailing today otherwise a lay day will be proposed…

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