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The Solo Voyage Diaries: Back in the mix…

Chris Stanmore-Major

CSM At the start of Sprint 3 300x164 The Solo Voyage Diaries: Back in the mix...It’s been pretty tricky out here since the start.  The repair to the trinquette which was done in Wellington blew out as I went over the start line. I was really underpowered because I had also opted for four reefs instead of three in my mainsail. I changed up to three reefs pretty quickly which then gave me the drive to catch up the others.

Yesterday I took the opportunity to get up the mast and cut the trinquette away. It was pretty badly damaged, about two metres of seaming had come undone. There was no way I could have continued with it as it was, so I spent all day yesterday up in the forepeak stitching and taping the sail. Luckily I have enough sail repair tools onboard.

The wind has now lightened off and the seas are flatter so I have been able to get back up the mast and lash it back on and I am back up to full speed. It’s very reassuring to have that sail working again before I get properly into the Southern Ocean. It’s the one I use in up to 40 knots off the wind so heading into the Southern Ocean without it would have been a bit like driving down a motorway with your front wheels loose – not a good idea. There’s a bit of a gap now between me and the other guys but my boat is now up to speed again which is the main thing. Three times up the mast in two days is enough for anyone.

It’s been nice being in close contact with the other guys and when I went up the mast at the end of play yesterday I could still see two boats on the horizon. It’s really good to be back in the mix and I am sure I can drag back some of the mileage. No-one’s really out of sight yet, I just need to get out of this weather system I am in and get on with the job.

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