Sir Robin third in class in The Transatlantic Race

07 July 2015

Clipper Race Founder and Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston is third in the IRC 2 class in The Transatlantic Race more than halfway through the 2,800 nautical mile contest.

Sir Robin and his four team members aboard his Open 60 Grey Power are in seventh place in overall line honours.

After testing conditions for the first few days of the race which started from Rhode Island, USA six days ago, they are now making a steady 12-18 knots under the main with one reef and the gennaker.

Sir Robin and his team have 1300 miles to go to the finish line at Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK.

Here is the latest blog from on board:

Monday dawned bright and sunny. However today, as opposed to yesterday, we had a bit more wind. Cracking along at a steady 12-18 knots under the main with one reef and the gennaker clouded over later on and had to reduce sail to the jib as the bow buried itself a couple of times and we filled the cockpit with water.

Grey Power was in her element doing just what she was designed to do - power reaching with waves on the quarter that she could ride down. We passed the 1500 miles to go mark at 1638 mid Atlantic time on Monday, five days, one hour and 38 minutes after starting.


Blog from Sunday 5 July

Yesterday, we hit an object presumed to be a whale as we saw a black fin astern immediately afterwards. Good news is that following an inspection of all forward compartments, Grey Power is sound and intact and we suffered no rudder damage but the bang which the collision made was impressive. We have seen two more whales this afternoon and the Skipper was heard to mutter something about the fact they should be required to carry shapes and navigation lights!

In addition to this, David decided to pirouette around the cockpit sliding from one side to another and significantly bruising his ribs. Although he was in some discomfort yesterday, today he is in much better form. He has resumed steering Grey Power which we take as a very positive sign. He does have a nice bruise to show to all interested mind you!

Last night before getting into our now traditional rolling watches, we decided that we would gybe at first light this morning as we needed to move north and away from our easterly course to where the wind direction would be more favourable to a direct course for the finish line at the Lizard.

So the day started early for the entire Grey Power team as the latest weather forecast was checked at 4am ship's time and then the gybe followed as nothing new had emerged from the morning's weather report. Of course a debrief over a cup of coffee ensued before people returning to their watches or bunks so a good hour and a half was spent at sunrise by all of us.

After a hearty mid-morning breakfast, we decided today would be a day of miscellaneous chores. The water maker was put to good use and all water containers were topped up. Sikaflex sealant was applied to the forward sail locker hatch and skylights above the chart table. Hopefully this will reduce water ingress.

The netting was modified on the aft starboard bunk (one of the three which we have on board) so that rather than have a narrow 2 foot wide bunk, we now have something much larger which is to us luxury. It feels we have a double bed all of a sudden on board. All in all it makes what was a rather uncomfortable bunk into a very nice one. Finally, David put his engineering skills to good use and spent a fair few hours stripping and rebuilding the reefing winch which is now operational.

Grey Power was also give a bow to stern bail out and the hull in the living section was given a good clean!

All in all a rather good day where jobs have been done and the sun has warmed us up and enabled to vent Grey Power. As at the time of writing, we are approaching the ice zone frontier which we must stay clear of, so we are keeping a close eye on our navigation equipment to ensure a further timely gybe which we hope will eventually put us on the rhumb line to home.


Sir Robin is joined on board by four friends. They are: Commander Dilip Donde from the Indian Navy, who became the first Indian to circumnavigate the world singlehanded in 2010, two-time Vendee Globe competitor Bernard Gallay of France who joined Sir Robin in 1982 on an Atlantic crossing aboard Sea Falcon, David Aisher - ex Commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club and Rear Commodore Sailing, the Royal Yacht Squadron; and Joshua Warren of the Monaco Yacht Club.


You can follow Sir Robin and his team’s progress here on the Race Tracker.

Sir Robin’s race blogs will be posted on the Clipper Race website on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Daily updates will be available via the Clipper Race and Sir Robin’s Twitter feeds.

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