Not first but not last

I have just woken up after a short sleep to recover from the 42 hour 57 minute race that starts our offshore select series. Having slept well early on and then relied on a mix tea and CrewFuel caffeine drink I hit the dock buzzing, not all drug induced, partly because I took four places on the final leg. After a quick tidy of the boat I went to bed, shut the stable doors to block out all light and willed myself to sleep.

The racecourse set a good challenge in the light airs starting with a reach westwards to Marseilles. Here the fleet hugged to coast, right on the edge of  some surf breaks at times, to escape the worst of the current. We approached the rocks off Marseilles in the dark and after a slightly shaky first leg I turned to corner to find the leaders kindly waiting for me in no breeze. This got me through the first “graveyard shift” from midnight till six as the eleven of us battled it out around the exact same piece of water I have match raced in three times over the last two years. I did well at one point getting up to fourth although tiredness probably got the better of me when I lost it all back to tenth as dawn came and we sailed offshore.

The next leg, bottom side of the triangle, became a bit of a solo effort for me when I pretty much didn’t see another boat all day. This is when I made the most of being on my own and had a nice sleep, listened to music ate a range of boil in the bag/ freeze dried meals and generally had a nice time in the sun. Any thoughts of boredom towards the end were quickly banished by experienced figarist Nico amusing the fleet with a VHF based game of guess that tune. As well as some questionable French stuff he did play some personal favorites by The Pixies, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan.

Well rested and in the ideal place from which to pounce I made the most of the final 40 mile leg back to home. After a lot of staring blankly at weather models on the computer downstairs I hit the transition from light South westerlies to stronger Northerlies spot on and surprised a few people on the dock by sneaking past them in the thick fog. Climbing from tenth to sixth was a satisfying end to a pleasant race and although a few points behind Phil and Sam in 3rd and 4th I’m still well in the hunt selectionwise.

Results

1 – JP
2 – Chris
3 – Phil (GBR)
4- Sam (GBR)
5 – Nico
6 – Me
7 – Damien
8 – Mika
9 – Mathieu
10 – Arthur
11 – Simon (GBR)

Now rather than the early night that I crave me and Simon have an instructor over from the UK to help us practice for our yacht master exam next week. Tonight is blind navigation practice! Wooo hoooo…..

Plus here is a video montage of everything I ate on board during the race. We all had to record what we ate for the coach as well as making a video and saving some data from the instruments.

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