Skipper Thoughts on Le Mans Race Start

10 March 2020

WTC Logistics Skipper, Rich Gould led the Le Mans start for Race 9: The WTC Logistics Tri-Race. Here are his thoughts.

We are off! After a bit of delayed start, Race 9: The WTC Logistics Tri-Race, the race with the best name in the whole circumnavigation, is under way.

Due to some technical creases that needed ironing out, we had to delay the start by two hours. The flat sea and the gentle breeze has made something possible, that to my knowledge, has never been done in Clipper Race history.... a Le Mans start at night! Any Le Mans start is impressive to be a part of, but watching the fleet form up in the dark, with nav lights all lined up was a sight I won't forget in a hurry.

IMAGE: The Clipper Race teams preparing

With the sun not long gone, and the moon creeping up over the mountains to the south west of the fleet we formed up. Here aboard the good ship Black Betty we were the lead boat for the start, meaning I was responsible for all the timings and organisation of the fleet. The only difference between a day time start and a night time start was shining a powerful light up on to our main sail to help the rest of the fleet identify which boat was us in the middle of the line.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the other Skippers in the fleet for such a great tidy start, we had a good line and everything was nice and easy despite not being able to see which boats were which.

For now we beat west to the first of the Dell Latitude Rugged Ocean Sprint gates.

Black Betty OUT!

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