Crew member on BEL666 Zed 6
Yesterday we had a very nice training with an almost complete crew, the last remaining crew member arriving on the RORC premisses only in the evening. We played with about all the sails we could so to familiarize the 2 out of 5 crew who never sailed the boat. Everyone is charmed by the beauty of the island, the fantastic climate, and very much excited at the idea of going for a thrilling 600 miles race. So it is a very motivated team that woke up this morning, having still in mind the detailed briefing done by Christian Dumard on the race track and forecoming weather conditions. We passed the security gate an hour and a half before our start, scheduled at 11h40 with the other multihulls. Then at 11h10, as we were approaching the starting zone under sails, the starboard dagger board broke in two pieces: we could see the lower part floating horizontally in mid waters, still attached to the other one remaining in the pit. This isn't exactly how we imagined the start of the race. We quickly decided to try to retrieve the broken board and race with the remaining one. We tried to push the dagger board all the way down but even with one man in the water we weren't successful, as the drift of the boat was too strong. Ten minute before the beginning of our start procedure, we decided to moor in the nearby bay at the entrance of English Harbor. There, Gerald and Pierre jumped in the water, both pushing as much as they could underwater while Christian was helping on deck with a pole. 9 minutes before the start, we managed to finally free the dagger board. By the time we hoisted it onboard, pulled the anchor up and crossed the starting line after doing a 720 penalty for motoring during the start procedure, we lost 20 min, which is not too much after all. At least we were racing. We had a great and fast sailing throughout the day, carrying the large spinnaker all the way from Green Island. Just before 10pm, we had to stop the boat west of Nevis Island and Gerald, who definitely loves swimming as much as sailing, jumped in the dark waters again, this time to retrieve a plastic bag entangled in the port rudder that was causing strong vibrations and a considerable drag. But bad luck is like rain, it always stops somehow, except in Brussels and London of course, for the rain that is.