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Challenger 3 - CF416 ARC 2016 CH3 - Blog Saturday 2016-11-26

Saturday 26th November


Spirits are high as we sail on through our 6th day at sea, despite us losing some ground to our Arch-Nemesis Challenger 2. Despite the many millions of square miles of ocean that are available to ARC participant yachts, we have ended up still within 8 nautical miles of our matched rival. We have lost sight of them by eye and on the AIS (automatic identification system – reports positions via radio to nearby vessels)  on several occasions and yet here we are, together again.

They slowly pulled in-front of us through the evening yesterday, mostly owing to us taking down our Yankee #2 headsail and putting up our Yankee #3 due to a small tear in the leech that was spotted by crew member Tomak. The Yankee #2 is a slightly bigger sail that was more appropriate for the wind conditions we were experiencing, leading to them gaining about a mile an hour on us when we flew the smaller Yankee #3.


Kirstie and Peter have been hard at work, through the darkness of the night and the overcast morning to repair the many small nicks found in our Yankee #2 and after many, many man hours the sail was ready to be re-hoisted again at midday. An inter-watch operation was launched to drop our smaller sail and re-hoist the #2 as quickly as possible, and we were almost rewarded by lunch before the Skipper informed us that we would then have to gybe the boat (another 20 minutes work). To add insult to injury, the Skipper also decided to put back the clocks by one hour, prolonging my watch and everyone’s day after the tiring manoeuvres. It was some consolation that after the gybe, the Skipper announced that this was the last gybe for a number of days. At last, we could relax and look forward to once again gaining miles on our rival, now just over the horizon ahead of us.

As we tucked into a wonderful lunch of potato salad, crisp bread and the-most-off-vegetables-we-could-find prepared by our team of two Mothers, Ricky made one more announcement: he had totally changed his mind and we would gybe twice more today…..


Ricky Chalmers



Challenger 3

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