Greetings from Offshore
It has been a trying first 20 hours of this year's Bermuda 1/2 race. The start was off Fort Adams in Newport, with each boat on our class, Class 5, getting away cleanly and short tacking out of Narragansett Bay toward the open ocean. Tacking these Open 50's by yourself is a chore. I cannot say all my tacks were flawless, as I have only been able to sail the boat twice prior to the race due to mechanical problems. As we got out of the bay, the wind softened and I put up a new sail in our inventory called a Code Zero. It is a lightweight, large genoa (jib) that is used for going upwind in light air, which is what we were doing for most of the day. The breeze began out of the southwest and slowly backed into the south, then southeast -- exactly the direction we are trying to go. It was frustrating but it was what the pre-race weather forecast called for so, it was not unexpected.
As the sun fell, the wind continued to back into the east, and for a brief period I enjoyed some beam reaching with the boat going between 9 and 12 knots. Unfortunately, it ended as quickly as it came, and now we are back to less than 5 knots from the southeast in lumpy seas - upwind in light air - not the best conditions for the wide and powerful Gryphon Solo, a boat that loves to reach and run. Sailing requires a lot of patience.
So, I need to get back to keeping us lurching along in this light wind. Hopefully tomorrow's report will have better news.
Thanks for tuning in-
PS. A great way to follow the action online is to go http://iboattrack.mapsherpa.com/2005NB1/ where each competitor is posting their position at regular intervals.