0830 Friday 18th April.

Looking dashing in their new kit, the crew slowly gathers onboard. Shaking off the cobwebs last nights rum punches, anticipation is building and tactics are being discussed. Bonnie is serving up the last coffees as we wonder if anyone succumbed to last nights indulgences and might not show up onboard today. As the meeting time approaches, everyone appears and fears are laid to rest.

 

1600 18th April

Life at the Foremast

What a day! Wonderful condition awaited us as we set off to run the line. 18 kts of breeze, a bit of a chop.

The foremast is, as usual, the wettest part of the boat and it did not take long for Francis and I to be soaked through. But despite this small challenge it all worked pretty much like clockwork as sails went up and were trimmed on. As the race started, we were in a good position as we headed down to the mark. Approaching it we decided to hoist the fisherman and into trouble as downhall released from the pin rail and went flying off in a bundle of knots. Konrad and Jason were quick to reach out and grab it and, using the end of a halyard as a bite, managed to bring it close to the foremast. Bill jumped in and helped bring it onto a winch so it could be untangled and properly made off. We got it sorted just in time to gybe around the mark. As we sailed up to curtain bluff we noticed that some of the cars were coming loose off the fisherman and crossed our fingers that they would hold until the finish.

Hardening up at curtain bluff we then tacked along the shore. We're a fast boat on the tacking legs and made up a few places before heading back out to the offshore mark. At this point it looked as if we were leading our class as Adventuress was nowhere to be seen. Gybing around the mark, a problem with a running backstay meant we came too close and hit the mark. There was a little confusion on the foredeck as to what our penalty was. Should be do a spin? But Geri kept Mary Rose heading back up to the finish line it seemed like it would be a time or place penalty.

 

On the final leg up, clearly ahead of most of the fleet, we took the gun over the line and a cheer for the boat.

Tied up alongside for a beer, we wondered what our penalty would be. But it turned out we won regardless. Day one, race won, a happy crew ready for day two!