Latest update from Conrad Humphreys

Latest update from Conrad Humphreys

Sunday March 6 2011 Author: conrad Location: United Kingdom

Offshore training: Fast downwind, bitter cold return...

After a week of round the cans training, getting to know the combinations and working on boat handling, I headed offshore on Friday afternoon for a 24hr sail down towards Lands End. The forecast was for a 20kt north-easter and I was soon surfing towards the Lizard with the big kite at speeds of 15+ kts.  The Figaro sits up really nicely downwind and plains really easily, so on some of the bigger waves the boat just takes off. I started playing around with various combinations, stack aft, rig forward, ballast, pilot settings just to get a feel. Difficult to gauge speed differences without another boat alongside, but as darkness fell, the boat was really going well and a real joy to sail.

I passed Wolf Rock and decided to spin around and head inshore towards Penzance and a long upwind back to Plymouth. The wind chill was unbelievable, I'm not sure what the air temperature was, but it was bitter on deck and after a hour of so upwind, I headed down below to knock up some pasta. Outside, the wind was a steady 25kts and as the tide turned towards the Lizard, I found myself in quite a messy, choppy sea. Waves were breaking over the bow and the boat was slamming pretty hard....nice welcome back to solo offshore sailing.

This week we make a few changes, lift the boat to wetsand the bottom and service the saildrive. I will sail down to Les Sables d'Olonne over the weekend two-handed, retracing leg 3 of La Solitaire from Ushant to Les Sables. The passage includes sailing inside of Ushant which can be tricky if the wind/tide combinations aren't kind. The first qualifier for La Solitaire, La Solo Les Sables starts on the 15th March with scrutineering and registration. The 320 mile offshore between Ill de Re and Belle-Ill takes places from 17th-20th and will see 25 competitors take the start, including fellow Franco/Brit and Vendee sailor, Sam Davies. Their are some hot Figaroists taking part, including Fabien Delahaye, Adrian Hardy, Jeanne Gregoire and Nicolas Lunven - it will certainly be a great introduction to Figaro racing.

We will be regularly updating www.conradhumphreys.com with news from the event, but if you want to follow the event site, it can be found at: www.solofigarolessables.blogspot.com

Surname Name Nationality Sponsor/Boat name Bizuth 2011 Participations La Solitaire du Figaro* 2010 Ranking French Offshore Championships
ALFARO Amaiur FRA EDM Projets   5 -
BIARNES Vincent FRA nc   2 -
BOTHUON Michel FRA LES RECYCLEURS BRETONS   4 -
BOURGUES Laurent FRA nc X 0 -
CAPLAIN Olivier FRA JAIDIMAT X 0 -
DALIN Charlie FRA KEOPSYS X 0 -
DAVIES Samantha GBR BECAUSE I AM A GIRL   4 -
DELAHAYE Fabien FRA PORT DE CAEN OUISTREHAM   2 4ème
GREGOIRE Jeanne FRA BANQUE POPULAIRE   8 5ème
HARDY Adrien FRA AGIR Recouvrement   3 23ème
HUMPHREYS Conrad GBR http://www.conradhumphreys.com/    X 0 -
JOSCHKE Isabelle FRA/GER nc   3 19ème
JOSSIER Nicolas FRA SIBELIUS IV   3 39ème
LAGRAVIERE Morgan FRA VENDEE X 0 -
LE GARREC Loïc FRA 500 POUR 100   1 48ème
LOBATO Francisco POR ROFF   1 12ème
LUNVEN Nicolas FRA GENERALI   4 9ème
MACAIRE Xavier FRA STARTER X 0 -
MACHETEL Clément FRA TEAM BAIE DE SAINT BRIEUC X 0 -
MEILHAT Paul FRA SKIPPER MACIF 2011   1 49ème
PEDOTE Giancarlo ITA PRYSMIAN X 0 47ème
PICAULT Sébastien FRA KICKERS X 0 -
RICHOMME Yoann FRA DBLC   1 36ème
RIVET Frédéric FRA VENDEE 1   3 15ème
SINEAU David FRA CHRISTINE X 0 -

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