As normal the first week on the Transat Jacques Vabre has been full of challenges. After the quick exit of the channel we found our selves upwind and trying to get south and west. The sort of boat and sailor breaking conditions we normally try and avoid. Just when we thought it was over yesterday morning, we had the surprise of a stationary (or Leyton stationary)front/storm system (massive red cloud in the sat photo) that we spent the WHOLE day in. with 30 - 45 knots of wind, never from the same direction. It also had loads of lightening and an electrically charged sky which started messing with our electronics - just to spice it all up a bit! Between the strong winds, nasty waves slamming the boat around and lightening above our heads, we were mostly worried about breaking something race ending! During all this it was a soul breaker watching the other 2 boats around us scream off south - their course relatively unchanged. We lost 10-15 miles but at least thankfully we didn't break anything.
Fortunes have changed today and the sun came up to perfect fast conditions and we have been screaming all day. catching up the miles we lost and a bit more - morals are running high again!
Today we've had our first day not dressed liked Michelin men and have got the shoes and shorts out. its still pretty wet on deck but warm!! We get to Madeira this evening, where the spinnaker will go up and things will be a lot calmer - boat flat and deck dry. First thing on the agenda is to dry out the boat and have a thorough check over for anything that could have been damaged this first week. The "survival" bit of the race is over!!
Ciao for now
Sam on Leyton
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