Sailing in the Artemis Hunters Challenge at Cowes week in with four new guests each day against four indentical Figaros has taught me sveral things. Firstly that it is a lot easier to sail a Figaro with with two sailors rather than two sailors and four hungover, sea sick land lubbers. Secondly it has reminded me why I love the boat, crusing around with a full main and spinnaker in 30-35 knots of wind and sustaining no damage or as a place to sleep after losing the key to my Hotel room Artemis 21 has done me proud this week. The last lesson that I think I will take with me for the next four days is the suitability of the Figaro for IRC. As one of the highest rating boats in class 2 it was a little upsetting to port tack the fleet at the start of the first race only to be rolled by most of the boats I had crossed with the first 5 minutes! Rating woes aside Matt and I will have a good race to look forward to against the two Henrys in Artemis 37 and if we time it right then we might cross paths with the Solitaire fleet off Wolfrock. Research is currently going on into the best radio channel to have a quick chat with the Artemis boats and you can be sure I’ll be keeping my eyes out for 46 sleepy single handers around the tip of Cornwall tomorrow night. Our race starts at 1210 and currently the routing has the race taking around four days with quite a lot of beating and some light patches tomorrow night. The boat is all ready and at the moment I can’t wait to get off the dock to watch one of the biggest spectacles in sailing as 350 boats ranging from the giant Bank Pop tri to good friends Jamie Holmes and Tom Whicher in the tiny J97 Jika Jika.
Follow me aboard Artemis 21 on the race tracker here http://fastnet.rorc.org/2011-fleet-tracking.html and I will try and send some updates from the race. Nick