Monday, September 24, 2012
Skipper Mick Watts celebrated his birthday on land in the Spanish Port of Bajona over the weekend. Even ashore the crew were observing steady winds of 35-40knots, so anyone still out at sea would have had a terrible battering.
Now the worst of the winds have passed over, Lancelot 2 is back out on the water, having set off in the small hours of this morning (Monday 24th September). Jacko has emailed us with a little update from the crew...
"We left 4 hours ago and so far are seeing only a very light 5 knot westerly, not quite the 12-15 knots that was promised! There is a really big swell though, left over from the weekend's storm making a rather uncomfortable and slow ride at the moment.
All is good aboard, Brian has taken the role as skipper and is taking us the 200+ miles to Cascais as a qualifying passage for when he does his RYA/MCA Yachtmaster next year. Tiina is making us all some cheese sandwiches at the mo and Mick has gone for a sleep which leaves me and John dutifully looking out for lobster pots... Well John anyway as I'm typing a message on my phone! :-).
Hope is well back in Hamble?!"
Meanwhile, back in Hamble, we're seeing plenty of rainfall, but this should clear away this afternoon and the outlook for the rest of the week is promising, with the weather looking warm and sunny for the weekend - perfect conditions for our Boat Handling Day (places available).
If you'd like to join Jacko & Mick on any of the delivery legs, we have a few places available left still, so do get in touch! It's a fantastic adventure and lots of fun!
Friday, September 21, 2012
Lancelot 2 set off on Monday lunchtime in blue skies and sunshine, and caught the tide out of the Solent, past the Needles and into the Channel. They have been sailing non-stop since then - passing the Channel Islands, around the NW tip of France and around the edge of the Bay of Biscay. The crew enjoyed Allie's homecooked meals for the first few nights and have been kept entertained by schools of dolphins most of the way!
Last night they had planned to stop in La Coruna but after a call into the office for an update on the weather forecast from various sites (see image below), Jacko decided to push on further South, so are due to arrive into Bajona tonight (which on the very bottom edge of this chartlet). They should then be able to relax there for a day or two, replensish supplies of fresh food, offload their rubbish and grab a shower ashore (one of the most wonderful feelings - that first shower after a few days at sea!) before pressing on to Gibraltar.
This should see the crew avoid the worst of the weather and avoid sailing into a headwind!
Monday was a hive of activity in Hamble River as other yachts also due to compete in the Middle Sea Race were also getting underway. Anyone who hasn't left yet, or hasn't yet reached the Bay of Biscay, is going to face terrible conditions so will almost certainly have to seek shelter and wait for the wind to pass, putting their delivery timescales under considerable pressure.
The Bay of Biscay is always notorious for its treacherous conditions, and deliveries always face the challenge of allowing enough of a window for the delivery and to include a few extra days in case a bolt hole is required. This requires careful attention to weather forecasts, an understanding of weather systems and a knowledge of which ports are suitable in which conditions is also useful!
As the weather systems evolve they can change direction or intensity, so the life of a delivery skipper is one of constant checking and rechecking! Many crews are understandably frustrated by the lack of a route itinerary when they set off, but that is just one of the challenges of sailing and a readiness to alter plans is essential.
Lancelot 2 , our First 40 is skippered by Jacko, a very experienced delivery and racing skipper, co-skippered by Mick Watts, an RYA Yachmaster examiner and crewed by 3 crew on this leg; Brian, John and Tiina. Places are still available on later legs, please contact us for more details or if you would like to join us.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Lancelot 2 is now well into the Bay of Biscay, heading south towards Northern Spain and Portugal.
Skipper Jacko called in yesterday afternoon to say they were having a cracking sail, albeit the wind was a little flukey and they were motor sailing at that point. Tuesday night had seen them playing dodgems with local fishing vessels off the French coast, but they had disappeared once daylight broke. All is well onboard especially after they had been treated to the most spectacular acrobatic display by a school of Dolphins, following the yacht for many miles.
Spirits are high, and the yacht is well on course for a little respite stop (that means beers!) in La Coruna on Friday/Saturday.
Monday, September 17, 2012
Sailing Logic's Beneteau First 40 Lancelot 2 is ready to set sail on Leg 1 off her adventure!
Skipper Jacko with co-skipper Mick and crew Brian, Tiina and John have stowed the food, packed up the spares, fuelled up, checked and rechecked the weather and are ready for action! All the crew are excited about their adventure ahead, and looking forward to logging approximately 1500nM over the next 12 days.
First stop planned for Cascais in Portugal. As she is a Cat 2 yacht, she'll stay within 60 miles of shore, following the coast around the Bay of Biscay.
With a High pressure sitting out to the West, there should be light to moderate winds and some sunshine ahead! Although the Northerly winds may feel fresher, it will be a fantstic downwind passage - so the crew on board should have a great ride! Take a look at the Met Office surface pressure charts here.
Lancelot 2 has a busy schedule ahead, leaving Hamble today heading to Gibraltar, then onto Malta for the ROLEX Middle Sea Race, a popular offshore race around the Maltese islands. After that Jacko will be heading to Las Palmas in the Canary islands (via Gibraltar again) for the start of the ARC, the transatlantic rally, which sees tired sailors arrive in to the beautiful St Lucia after nearly 3 weeks at sea. after a rest over Christmas, Lancelot 2 is upto Antigua for the RORC Caribbean 600, another of the 600nM offshore races around the Leeward Caribbean Islands. Then it is a quick hop up to St Maarten for the Heineken Regatta and then back to Antigua for the Antigua Race Week. Phew!!
If you would like to get involved in this fantstic adventure there are still places on all of the delivery legs from Gibraltar to Malta and onto Gran Canaria as well as one place left on the ARC crossing.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
There is still race one race left in the RORC race calendar, but Sailing Logic's Reflex 38 Visit Malta Puma already has secured enough points so that we can't be beaten! James 'Chippie' Gair skippered Visit Malta Puma in all her offshore races this season - and excellent results in the RORC Cervantes Cup and the challenging Round Ireland Race (which carries a 1.5 points factor) certainly helped secure the victory. After a lot of punching numbers in to calculators, it has been confirmed that the second placed yacht, the First 40 La Reponse can't secure enough points to overtake Visit Malta Puma. See the Results here
The crew were obviously delighted to hear the news "Woop woop! Great stuff, bring on Fastnet 2013!" commented Chippie and "Yipppeeee!" from Simon!
The Round Ireland race team of Chippie and first mate Leanna, Barry, Alastair, Rob, Rosta, Simon P, Simon G, Tim and last-minute recruit 'Cheese' had never raced together before their first training weekend in April this year. Most of the crew had previous offshore race experience, Rosta and Barry had already raced in our RORC Caribbean 600 earlier in the year and Alastair and Simon had competed in our Fastnet 2011 campaign. This was Chippie's first campaign for Sailing Logic and he has proved himself an exceptionally capable and very popular skipper.
The Emily Verger Plate, awarded for the highest placed yacht based on the best 4 races in the RORC series will be presented to Sailing Logic at the annual RORC Prize Giving Dinner on November. Details of the evening will be released soon, but we'd love you to come and celebrate with us!
Well done Visit Malta Puma, Chippie and all who have raced on her this year!
Photo courtesy of sailpix.ie