On the 16th of August I set off as part of ten strong crew set off on Palpatine, a 42 foot racing yacht to take part in the Fastnet race. This race is run every two years and starts from Cowes races out to the Fastnet rock off the south west tip of Ireland and then finishes in Plymouth, around 609 miles in all.
336 yachts started…. well.. slowly. For the first 36 hours we had light and sometimes no wind. It took an agonizingly long time to get out past the Isles of Scilly and then, just what we wanted, wind. In fact more than enough wind. We ended up fully reefed and the boat surfing along 15 foot waves at around 15 knots. A couple of boats around us blew out their sails overnight.
There were too many stories to write here and I’m sure you can imagine how exhilarating and tiring such a big race can be but an unexpected delight was the wildlife, seals, sharks and loads of Dolphins. At night the sea would boil with light as the Dolphins chased huge shoals of Mackerel through phosphorescent plankton.
It was a long summer of training and qualifying offshore races, I’ve covered around 1800 miles in all but have had a fantastic time with new friends that made up the crew. On the Fasnet we finished 32nd in class and 197th overall. Over the whole season we’ve finished 7th in IRC class One which is a great result for the team. Watch out on the Tideway Facebook page and I’ll pop a short video up.