Talanta - Log Day 12: A Squall sent by the devil himself and second rudder broken!
switching rudders last Sunday we have been pushing the boat really hard. During
all the trouble of repairs and standing still we had lost all the advantage to
many of our competitors, especially Desna who now had come up on 3rd place in
the ranking. As of last Sunday they were 26 miles ahead of us. To avoid making
another gybe (meaning once again remove the rudder in the middle of the
Atlantic!), we had followed the northerly route far longer than optimal.
Therefor we had to sail through a large high pressure with very low winds. Not
good for gaining on the competitors!
as we got into stronger winds we really started the chase. At each report we had
gained one to two hours on the corrected time. We overtook Desna and as of last
night we were about 50 miles ahead of them. Also having a much more favourable
angle towards the wind. Everything was looking promising as we really made our
best to regain at least the third place.
at 04:30 this morning we were hit by a Squall. A kind of squall we had never
experienced before, like it was sent from the Devil himself. In just a few
seconds the wind went from 18 knots to 40 knots, the boat was nearly knocked
down and the intensity of the wind and the spray from rain and the sea were
beyond the believable. This happened while sailing the medium spinnaker and one
reef in the main. A disaster! Impossible to get up on deck to pull down the
spinnaker sock (and when I say impossible, believe me, it was not possible. No
chickens on this boat!). An increadible scene with a spinnaker flapping in 40
knots of wind were playing in front of our eyes while we were holding on tight
to the boat.
spinnaker seems to have kept itself alive. But our last on only one remaining
rudder didn’t. It broke down and pieces of the rudder were hanging on both
sides. Now we were experienced in rudder removal at sea, so quickly we removed
the rudder, brought it up on deck and started to repair. Managed to save half
the rudder so now are sailing with a half rudder, the jib only and full water
ballast to bring down the remaining part of the rudder into the water. So the
play of the podium is lost, but we hope to at least keep our fourth