Three days have passed since Ed and I arrived in Perros Guirec, cooking up a tasty pasta breakfast as we waited for the lock gate to open and licking our wounds after a 35 knot pasting on the way over. In that time we have exhausted this small Breton town’s choice of low cost restaurants and also managed to tick off a lot of niggling boat jobs as well as some bigger ones, including Figaro class measurement and safety checks. This was made a lot easier with the assistance of two wily French ‘preparateurs’, Max and Simon, who have worked with the Artemis boats all year and breeze through every work list we pass their way with typical Gallic indifference before asking for more jobs.
This rare feeling of preparedness 24 hours before the start has given us plenty of time to focus on the job in hand. Racing around some of the rockiest shore lines in existence against 29 other Figaros for the next week will be challenge enough without the Atlantic autumn weather onslaught that looks set to spice up our week. Our Friday evening weather briefing included more of the wind arrows with the solid black triangles meaning 50 knots plus than I would like. Whilst the organisers have plans A,B,C and D in line in case things get too rough it seems unlikely we will be able to avoid some scenes from the picture postcards that sit in front of every tourist shop in Brittany of giant foaming waves crashing against stony grey light houses. With this in mind we have put a lot of care into checking every last part of the boat and especially the safety kit!