GRIND, HOLD, EASE, EASE, EASE, HOLD, GRIND....These words have been the most spoken on GREAT Britain in the last 24 hours.
After leading the pack away from the start, it has been a game of follow the leader with Derry~Londonderry~Doire tracking our course to the letter. We tacked, they tacked. We gybed, they gybed. It was a strategy that worked well especially when they saw us enter a wind hole stopping us dead and they steered away to avoid it.
This, was not a good thing to happen. The mood on-board was challenged as we sat in zero winds and watched the rest of the fleet head offshore to stay on the breeze and sail past us. Some exceptions were PSP logistics and Henri Lloyd who also found them selves becalmed. Hard fought miles of trimming and maintaining a position all to be un-done on one false move.
We did not let this deter us and we fought back from the tail end of the pack using every bit of skill on board. Trim, trim, trim was the name of the game.
We were soon in a light air battle with PSP Logistics, soon seeing them off with some clever driving and sail trim which saw us cut inside, steal the wind and extend boat lengths ahead of them. With the next boat in sight, we used the same tactics and moved ahead of them too. GREAT Britain was on the move. Each boat we passed was a gain for the team and we used this momentum to keep on rolling.
Spinnaker flying is a team sport with a minimum of five people involved. A trimmer, a winch operator, two grinders and the helm. The art of constantly trimming the sail to extract the extra 1% was taught to the novices by the more senior crew and the whole team is progressing well.
Life on board is what we all signed up for. Close racing, challenging conditions, new skills to learn and a good load of banter thrown in to keep us on our toes.
There are still issues on board, lack of GRIB file information is meaning we don't know what wind we have in front, so our new position in fourth is acceptable for the moment as we continue to push the boat and the crew to the limit. Light wind sailing may be challenging, but the rewards can be incredible.
Jake Carter comments "...It was annoying to go from 1st to the back, but we are moving forwards with still some issues on board. We have a faulty main halyard and some other niggles, but we are up in forth and the leaders are in sight..."
Our skipper, Simon Talbot, reminds us of the famous Winston Churchill quote. Never, ever, ever give up.