Today was a good day!
We are looking forward to start RORC 600! Ciao!!!
Today was a good day!
We are looking forward to start RORC 600! Ciao!!!
At 12.00 a.m all crew was on board. Guest and crew introduced one to each other. For the first day, only the names written on T-shirts would have help not getting confused! Andrea Casale, crew boss, welcome everybody and explained roles on board. Captain Fabrizio had a first short speach on safety and Sophie, the yacht hostess, offered her first round of tasty sandwiches.
Cape Arrow headed back to Falmouth harbour after 2 hours training in 20-25 knots. First reef, second reef, gennaker hoist, gennaker drop were briefly practiced to make everybody comfortable in their roles on board. Few little mishaps happened but this is why trainings are done! Debrief, list of works and ready to dock back.Everybody had to hurry up for not missing an handmade Focaccia prepared on SW 82 Feelin' Good! Cheers!
Follow us in this new adventure!
From last night onboard Bella Mente Racing - Duking it out against Rambler as the sun goes down
It is wednesday morning and a rather cloudy day has just dawned as we
complete our second full day at sea and creep past the half way mark. We
have so far sailed around Antigua, Barbuda, Nevis, St Kits, Saba, St
Barths, St Martin, Tintamarre and are now approaching Monserrat. Out on
our port side, the lead boats are currently on their final charge towards
Redonda a good 24 hours ahead of us. We also have Selene in our sights,
our major competition within our class and the only boat we owe time to.
The race is on.
It has been 6 months since we last all raced together aboard Dorade but
things are going smoothly. It takes a while to remember which sheet
performs which job as all lines are white and although this may sound
bizarre, it takes a while to get used to the quiet down below. Most of us
on board come from carbon boat backgrounds and are used to the cacophony
of noise that reverberates around the hull as you race. Whilst this may
not sound pleasant, once you are used to it, the noise lets you know
exactly what is happening with the boat. On Dorade there is no chattering
over waves, no highly loaded winches screeching as lines are eased and no
slamming off of trade wind driven seas. Instead there is the creaking
sound of the wooden interior as it twists with the motion of the boat and
a gentle sound of water rushing by. Sleep therefore is deep.
Off the breeze and with full main mast and mizzen sails launched, Dorade
is in her element. We were surprised to not only hold onto a good few
boats on the way to Barbuda but to actually overtake a couple. We were
even more surprised after rounding Saba to see Mariella come charging at
us from behind. We do however suffer upwind in a seaway and we have quite
a bit of that yet to face. Conditions have certainly helped us out so far
with a good deal less breeze than in last years race. The extensive
development of the sail wardrobe over the last year and the optimization
of sailing modes has also been an invaluable to our performance so far.
We are currently en route to one of the trickiest sections of the race
course. First we must sneak passed Monserrat which will be a challenge
for the on watch crew as every squall cloud sends the breeze clocking to
the right by up to 60 degrees. This sets our course closer to the island
and so far we have dealt with 3 such cloud masses. Then comes the south
westerly corner of Guadeloupe and its infamous wind shadow. Play it right
and we will be slowed for an hour, get it wrong and we could be stuck for
several. We have a strategy, we have our new secret weapon sail and
needless to say we will be watching Selene like a hawk.
So for now we push on towards Guadeloupe, the on watch crew getting doused
in equal parts rainwater and salty ocean spray whilst the off watch crew
cling on to their bunks as Dorade quietly pitches and rolls in the lumpy
sea. The big question is, can we win our class?
Hello from the mighty Incisor!
We are going a steady 10 knts on our spinnaker run towards Nevis from the laid mark off of Barbuda. We have completed all manoeuvres so far with success so our two days of training last week paid off! Especially considering we could only get a kite up on the second day! So that's 2.5 of the 13 legs done already! Sandy the Caribbean rating measurer has predicated what times we will get to each mark and so far his first predication has been bang on, so bring on Nevis at half 10 this evening!
Everyone is doing a great job and crew spirits are extremely high - especially the skipper Derek who has had lots of cups of tea to keep him happy! We had ordered rotis from the lady on the dock but it all fell through, but alas Jon saved the day and made some delicious cheese and ham rolls with a snickers for dessert - an even happier skipper after that!
Our start was great and it was so exciting! Helicopters skimming the water with film crews on and boats to watch out for left right and centre, we felt like the professionals!
The ladies on board (Hazel, Pippa and Sam) are holding their own against the chaps by grinding their hearts out, packing spinnakers at record speeds, making teas and more importantly keeping the chat going. Although saying that. Lawrence and Jon are also quite the chatterboxes!
On our wildlife watch, so far we have seen a turtle. To be honest they aren't that exciting, just a brown blob in the water - don't feel too bad your missing out on that at home, but the weather is lovely!
Josh has been trying to keep dry all day by wearing his oilies in the blistering heat as soon as we left the dock - however 4 hours in and the heat gets to him, he takes his jacket off, goes on the bow and gets drenched. Tee Hee!
Mike is doing sterling work on navigation and Derek, Arien, Martin, James and Jon (we have two Jons so have had to split them up on watches so we don't get confused!) are keeping the boat going with their expert knowledge and enthusiasm!
Signing off now as the crew are getting hungry as it is almost dinner time!
Until tomorrow from Incisor's Caribbean 600 adventure.
Hannah Jenner sent some training footage from Dorade, Matt Brooks' S&S 52 Yawl.
After crossing a tightly packed start line on starboard tack, tucked away at the outer distance mark, the Team tacked and headed in an offshore direction, briefly breaking away from the majority of the fleet, before tacking up the coast under J2 and first reef. Skipper Andy Budgen was quoted as nochonalantly proclaiming "Well that wasn't half bad, think we got away with that!"
Shortly before rounding the Northern point of Antigua we shook out the first reef and prepared to hoist our Code 3, or reaching spinnaker for the reach down to the North Sails mark off the island of Barbuda, the only laid mark of the whole course. Passing the last of the class 40's at this point, the Team fixed their sights on the leading pack roughly 3 miles ahead, consisting of Rambler, Bellamente and Shockwave.
With the Code 3 set by 6 of our finest grinders, a lunch of freeze-dried chilli macaroni and beans was welcome after the mornings exertions and with the boat humming along at one of her favourite points of sail, a perfect moment to rehydrate and refuel before the downwind run Nevis.
At the North Sails mark we hoisted the A4 spinnaker in preparation , furled the Code 3, bore away into a gybe to round the mark and deployed the A4. We are currently running at a speed of 16-17 knots in 14-15 knots of breeze, the Team are excited to be within sight of the leading pack and gaining fast on Bellamente almost within arms reach!
With a steady breeze and constant glorious sunshine on the Caribbean Sea, a finer start to the RORC Caribbean 600 for Monster Project could not have been hoped for!
Until the next update,
Monster Project - Volvo 70
Skipper - Andy Budgen
Blog Post from Bella Mente Racing's Offshore Helmsman Mike Sanderson:
We had a great start, and it has been lovely racing all afternoon. On the long reach out to the first mark, we were able to go leeward of Rambler and take the lead, which was exciting. Rambler then passed us on the run down to Nevis, but we are catching up and look forward to more great racing aboard the mighty Bella Mente.