Yacht blogs, pics and news updated everyday

Log on to the official ARC website to catch up with the latest chatter, banter and downright surrealism from the skippers, most of whom use email to keep in contact with each other – and perhaps unwittingly – the world. It makes for entertaining reading – a sort of yachting equivalent of TV’sBig BrotherandI’m a Celebrity….

Case in point… Paul writes from Team Ideal….

‘Hi everyone, Team Ideal Skipper reporting during the 12-4 am watch, whilst the rest of the best crew sleep despite raging force 7 winds, 20 foot seas and occasional boat movement. Oh what Joy these Catamaran’s are when downwind sailing, steadier than a caravan on the M25.

‘Today Ideal reached its peak speed of 19 knots. The weather forecast from the ARC came in at 20-25 knots of wind. Most of the time it was hitting 35-44 knots. We had the Parasailor up as usual – the sail is designed from a gliding parasail so it has a wing and pressure relief section half way up.

Some time later…
‘After 7 hours of relentless force 9 winds, squalls every 30 minutes, surfing the waves, it was time for tea and there was no other option but to cut it free. With night fall approaching and the crew demanding their uninterrupted sleep, the decision was made.

‘Thomas the German rep who sold it to us in Grand Canary gave strict instructions that once it was up and winds were exceeding 25 knots there was no way of getting it down! Bar cutting all the sheets and halyards.

‘The four of us armed ourselves with sharp kitchen knives and took a rope each, on the count of three we slashed with all our might and whoosh, the sail went flying off up into the air, lifting the boat clean off the waves. We were flying! Next step was given over to Sally (it was her favorite sail or was it the colour) to cut the main halyard and free the beast. After much sawing and a big bang, it flew off into the sky. With a tear in my eye I waved it goodbye and I thought, was it worth 4,000 Euros? oh yes what joy it had given! Did exactly what it said on the tin, “verse sprung durch technique” is the phrase I think the Germans use.

Suddenly I woke up! Yes, that was a dream. I had discussed with Thomas the technique of getting the parasailor down in big winds and we simply unfurled the Genoa in front of it pulled the sock down dragged it into the cockpit, stowed it away in its bag and opened a can of lager.’

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