Crew member on GBR976R Selene
Selene is currently making good progress. Morale is high and the boat is in good shape, although we have seen almost all the boats in the fleet come past us now, but our AIS tells us we are in touch with Quokka with mates from Lloyds Yacht club on board with whom I did this race last year. Quokka is a fast, well sailed boat who just beat us in the ARC, so we are pleased to be close to them. There are a couple of other bigger boats still well in sight and we were close enough to enjoy the spectacle as the fleet gybed round North Sails mark off Barbuda and began the down wind leg to Nevis. We saw Adela and Athos bowling along under full sail looking magnificent as they ploughed through the fleet.
We have had a good run up to Barbuda. The wind was further south than forecast and not as strong. We were able to fly our asymmetric kite and pushed along at 8-9 knots for much of the leg. We had done well round the south of the island after a pretty good start in clear air towards the ODM. There seemed to be some acceleration and the wind was up to 28 knots at times, but we did well staying inshore out of the current and kept well in touch with the fleet.
It feels a bit lonely now that they are all pushing on, but that is what we expect as the slowest boat in the fleet. Our mission is to stay as close as we can and at the moment our boat speed is very good. For now it is something of a procession and waterline length is key. We hope to manage the next important tactical phase which will be the beat from Saba up to St Barts. We should see something of the faster boats making their way south after rounding St Marten. That will be a bit exciting as we shall be on reciprocal courses with a closing speed of over 30Kts so eyes peeled then!
It is just getting dark now so preparing for the long night ahead with about 35 miles to go to the gybe at Nevis