Rounding the rock – Fastnet Race blog
As anticipated the weather came in late afternoon and with it theanticipation of The Rock! The weather built up to a good 18 knots as we are reaching away from the Isles of Scilly. With the start of the increase in wind came a series of pods of Dolphins, 4 in as many hours, but only for the one watch who now consider themselves to be the Dolphin Whisperers. They were even seen darting in the phosphorescence at the start of the night shift for that watch, which was a great sight to behold for those who have never seen it before.
Shortly after midnight brought yet more wind and the call was made to move down to the J3 from the J2, bareheaded for a short time it was a solid effort in rough conditions with little visibility, rain pouring and waves lashing over the deck it was great team work and a sense of achievement for everyone when it was done. Action packed night watch for some of us and a soaked foredeck crew, but that comes with the job. To celebrate we all have a starburst!
Again as the sunrises, comes visibility of the fleet heading to the Fastnet Rock from various directions, this brings out some competitiveness in the team eager to round the rock and pass some boats. Winds lighten enough for a headsail peel, J3 back to J2 a very tough one in the conditions but nicely done and we quickly start to pass other boats as we speed up. Sergei (our Russian contingent) usually quiet on the rail shouts and points – “there is The Rock” pretty soon everyone is on deck ready eagerly to see and be ready for the rounding.
To the right of us we see the amazing emerald of Ireland which so aptly deserves that nickname, it looks haunting in the mist and just to the left of us is Fastnet Rock, what we have been waiting for. We are beating upwind towards the rock, racing and ready to round. Once we bear away and pass the rock, we can’t miss a few selfie and photo/video moments to capture this event. Big cheers on the deck from all the crew with the last 24hrs showing why the Fastnet race is a tough one and great achievement.
Then notmuch time to digest as we quickly get back to it for the race to Plymouth. We start a reach back towards the Isle of Scilly and prepare to hoist the Spinnaker!
If rocks are to be rounded, if finish lines must be crossed, do it Fast and do it Furious!!!