Monday, September 07, 2009
Cherbourg Race - Puma Logic Win IRC Overall
Puma Logic concluded a successful offshore season with the elusive win in IRC overall in the final race of the season. The forecast promised a drag race all the way across the Channel and there were no disappointments!
The wind held from the west at 20 — 25 knots and Puma Logic completed the 90 mile race in just over nine hours. Finishing on the water with some class zero boats was a good indication that the team had done well and at 0520 Puma Logic was confirmed as overall winners of the race with just minutes to spare.
The result was good enough to elevate Puma Logic to 2nd place in IRC overall in the RORC championships. An outstanding result and a remarkable end to a fantastic campaign. At Sailing Logic we are immensely proud of our team on Puma Logic; a team of individuals who when they signed up for this adventure did not know each other and many had no racing experience! What an achievement for them.
Friday, September 04, 2009
Emotions Before the Cherbourg Race
This morning I woke up with a certain amount of trepidation! As always, before a big offshore race my sleep was not the best as a lay in bed quite restless and excited for a greater part of the night. There is only ten hours now till the start gun of one of the most important races of the year for us. This race is no exception when talking about ‘big races!’ Although it is only a 78 mile blast across the Channel to Cherbourg there is a lot at stake on this one.
The weather looks exciting, with a WNW 25 knot blow promised, jib tops all the way! In IRC1 Puma is now promised 2nd place for the championships, an awesome achievement for our Fastnet team and one which we are all very proud off. However what is even more exciting is that Puma Logic could possibly finish 2nd overall which would be remarkable!
At the moment Puma Logic stands just 27 points behind 2nd placed Diablo J with Tonnere de Bresken only 22 points ahead of us. There are 100 points up for grabs in this race so anything could happen. Sadly we are not fielding our full Fastnet team due to other commitments but there will be five of us on board from the Fastnet team and Iain, who sailed on Jaguar Logic for the Fastnet is making a guest appearance to help us out in our quest for a podium finish.
Batfish 3 are 101 points ahead of us now which makes 1st place unachievable, if only we had managed to field a team for the De Guingand Bowl! We have been scrabbling around to make the number up this week but finally nearly have a full team now. We are just one person short (does anyone want to come and join us)?
I am quite excited but also apprehensive this morning. So many people have dedicated so much effort and passion into this year’s offshore campaign. The feeling I am experiencing this morning is similar to that when waking up for the Cherbourg race in 2005. Back then we had to finish 2nd or above to win the RORC Championships in IRC1! After averaging 11.5 knots and completing the course in seven hours we arrived in Cherbourg just behind the class winner in 2nd place! We were ecstatic and I struggle to put into words my feeling of euphoria.
Over the last two seasons I have had the honour of sailing with the most remarkable team I have ever sailed with. I am also very sad today as I know it is the end of a two year campaign which culminates when we cross that finish line in Cherbourg. We have been though so many emotions together, experienced an amazing adventure and been so privileged to have been given such a wonderful opportunity.
Last year this team won the Madeira to Cowes Race and finished 2nd in IRC 1 of the Championships. What makes it so very special to me is the fact that we are a sailing school boat and when most people joined us they had never done any offshore racing before. It never ceases to amaze me what can be achieved with so much dedication, focus and self belief. If you put your mind to it anything is possible and Team Puma Logic 08/09 is clear proof to that.
It is a real shame that I am not able to share the emotions and euphoria of this last race with the full team. What you can be certain though is that everyone on board Puma Logic will be pushing every bit as hard with one goal in mind, to finish on the podium of the RORC Offshore Championships. No matter what the result this weekend there will certainly be a tear in my eye as our extraordinary journey draws to a close. Win or loose this weekend there is no taking away from us what has been achieved over the last two seasons.
This team have been fine ambassadors for Sailing Logic and RORC, encouraging and inspiring so many others to become involved with offshore racing. The team started as complete strangers and in many cases complete novices. Now I do not think anyone would disagree that they are a force to be reckoned with, a team to take note of, they are fierce competitors who do not like being beaten and the humility of the team is something that has won admiration and respect from many.
Next year we start afresh with a new team. Today I applaud and thank everyone who has been involved, especially our shore support team led by Allie Smith. We will give this last race everything we have and push hard all the way to the finish line.