Scarlet Oyster - 10 Dec - Running down the clock! Day 16 on Scarlet
We have managed not to break anything since yesterday’s blog! That should qualify for a prize of some sort! Weather is pretty good now, strong trades propeller by a high pressure N of us over the NW Atlantic, the boats back to the E will have less wind to play with. We got on the runner for a few hours yesterday, pretty full on with upto 30knots at times, managed a couple of 40mile 4hr runs, this has helped make our lead look more secure, with some dodgy cloud around and forecast, we decided to run on white sails overnight, as it happened there were no big squalls, but the wind held in at 25kn, so the poled out jib was just fine. Having had an expensive month with the boat, damage limitation is the name of the game! I have a rather elaborate spreadsheet that I. read more...
Scarlet Oyster - 09 Dec - Big blue is no more ;-( Day 15 on Scarlet
Again apologies for lack of blogs, not sure where the time goes!Since I last wrote we had a wind hole to negotiate, being further down the track than the rest of your class does have drawbacks it seems, we had 2 choices N or S of the calm, the S optioned looked favourable to us, but those behind would not be able to follow, if we had tried to get N it would have been more distance, and an early park up, but the wind would re-establish quicker. If we could get S far enough it seemed there was no complete park up, but the strong NE wind would take longer to reach us.We chose S, and it was looking quite promising till the wind dropped out earlier than anticipated!The night of the 5th was pretty frustrating with between 2 and 5 knots of wind, we had to sail either almost due S or NW, as in. read more...
Scarlet Oyster - Normal service is resumed! Day 11 on Scarlet
Will be a short one this time (I promise!)Last couple of days have been almost like something from a sailing brochure! Steady 15-18knots directly behind with blue skies and no rain, these winds closely resemble the mythical 'Trade Winds' that you sometimes hear about!Perfect sailing then?Well nearly!Having had a night of 20knots plus wind with the monster kite up a few nights ago, we have developed a sort of taste for the 'powered up' feel!, the gentle rolling along at 8knots av speed without the sensation it is all going to end in tears imminently is frankly a bit boring!Also this is not helped that a couple of boats coming down from the N have been 'enjoying' (or perhaps enduring!) our now preferred 'powered up' mode for 2 days while we have been cruising along.We have kept them at. read more...
Scarlet Oyster - Milestone day Day 9 on Scarlet
Yesterday was something of a day of milestones, 1000nm taken off the total distance, 1 full week at sea, wind finally switching to a more appropriate angle, last tack of the race (hopefully!), oh and breaking a steering cable for the first time!Sunday started quite uncomfortably as we continued to bash upwind in a NW direction, trying to gain position for the next few days of downwind sailing in good breeze.Through the night we had squalls with up tom 38knots in them, Scarlet confidently strode on upwind under no.4 jib and 1 reefed main, both these sails are from the 1st suit of racing sails the boat had back in 1988, I am amazed they are not only still in one piece but actually quite fast still!The guys onboard were pleased to have Scarlet as our steed as she took all the punishment in. read more...
Scarlet Oyster - Tough milk run! Day 7 on Scarlet
Hi all, excuse lack of blog, been a bit busy last few days!We have got our A3 spinnaker back in one piece (well we had fixed this a few days ago), bit pointless as this is apparently a non spinnaker upwind event this year!Repair looks good, 3rd time this poor sail has been beheaded!Could be a good luck omen as the last 2 times were the 2007 fastnet (where we won class 1 on line and hcap) and the ARC 2011, where we also did rather well!Certainly this year is a different race to 2011! I have already seen more than 2 years worth of rain on this trip, where as in 2011 we had only one light shower the whole crossing!90% of the 2011 crossing we were being propelled by out trusty big red runner, this time, while we have breifly used all 4 kites, we have been under white sails for 75% so. read more...