I always find that Race Start day is hard, there is so much going on that it is really very hard to focus on preparing for the upcoming race and getting your mind into the zone is nearly impossible. This Race Start was even more difficult as for the first time since London, my wife Camilla and our girls Sophie and Lotti were with me in Cape Town which made leaving and saying goodbye an incredibly emotional time, but come 11.42am and the build-up was finally over, our boat song started playing and we were back out on the water.
Following the usual Parade of Sail, which for this race must have been made absolutely spectacular by the clear blue sky and the stunning backdrop of Table Mountain, we commenced our pre-start and then finally on the stroke of 14.30 local time we were off. We had a good start and headed off to our first couple of round the cans marks before heading out of Table Bay under spinnaker past Robben Island. Once safely clear of Robben Island and the wind shadow that Table Mountain creates, we switched to white sails and started to beat to windward down the coast in a more southerly direction which is how we spent the night.
As morning came, the wind had become increasingly light and fickle and we are currently ghosting along in 6 knots of wind with about 5.5 knots of boat speed so progress is painfully slow but we are doing our best with what is available.
With the promise of strong winds to come in the next 24 to 36 hours, this will prove useful for our new joiners and ease everyone else back into the swing of things before a few days of really hard work begins!