Solitaire du Figaro - Leg 1

Solitaire du Figaro - Leg 1

Friday June 29 2012 Author: goodchild.sam Location: France

I dont think anyone of the sailors would disagree with me saying that, that was a fantastic leg, great racing and really challenging. It had a bit of everything and was extremely close for the majority of the race. Despite enjoying the sailing itself, I was still a bit disappointed in my performance, mainly tactically I made a lot of errors. 3 big errors cost me a lot of distance and meant I ended up finishing in 25th with an almost 4 hour deficit to the leaders.

The bit where we weren't drifting

The first part of the race was playing with strong currents, not much wind and lots of rocks along the north coast of brittany, cutting inside an island and running out of wind cost me about 5 miles which, I got back when the whole fleet compressed just before turning south. Then to follow suite with the rest of the race, I quickly threw away my second chance and found my self a few miles back again. This was mainly because of a small error  going past Brest which, I then didn't accept to cut my losses, persevered with my loosing option and made it worse. By the time we started the crossing of biscay we had had very little sleep and weren't expecting much for the final 24hours so, I thnk most people got the majority of there sleep here in an accumulation of 10-15minute cat naps. In all I think I got between 3-4hours sleep over the 3 1/2 days. With the wind disappearing and turning through 180 degress, over a perieod of about 6hours, Biscay proved to be another challenge in itself. With unreliable forecasts I made a bold move on the approach to Gijon which, came back to bite me when the weather situation developed a little bit late. With 'all my eggs in one basket' it was going to be a hero or zero out come and unfortunately it became the latter. The big lesson there was, making rash decisions when your tired and the weather forecast isn't very accurate is dangerous.

Quite a bit of rain

In between my mistakes I got a few confidence boosts, being able to hold my boat speed against some of the top boats and give some of them a run for there money. This at least lets me feel like i've improved since last year so, hope for the next leg I can have a better go at it.

Leg 2 starts at 1230 on Sunday and we are looking at another leg with very light winds and a bit of a driftathon.

All for now



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