30 minutes from the big boys

Mini turned trimaran sailor Nick Bubb describes progess on the first leg of the Shetland Round Britain Race
After several months of training and preparation Pete and I were very keen to get away well and show the fleet we were up for it. With an 8 knot southeasterly we started on time at 1200. With HMS Bangor acting as the committee boat for the day, taking into account her wind shadow was a crucial part of the start line tactics. We easily made the best of it and crossed the line first doing about 9 knots, our lead was fairly short lived though as Pete Goss and Paul Larsen showed the large spectator fleet exactly what their Seacart can do. She is the latest 30ft trimaran designed by Marc Lombard and built by Tornado legends Marstrom up in Sweden. Her construction is all pre-preg carbon and Nomex and she weighs in at around 900 Kgs (roughly half that of Kenmore). Totally untouchable in under 15 knots she is more than a handful in big breeze and it will take all their combined experience to keep her the right way up throughout the race! They blasted over the top of us to pass the breakwater first but we held off Waverider, a 43ft tri and Alacrity, a 50ft tri to pass second. It was upwind to the Eddystone and with the breeze already dropping and a big swell we had a painful 10 miles with the bigger boats using their additional waterline length well to pass us just before the rock. We rounded almost on top of the rocks (so much for our conservative approach!!) before heading off downwind towards the Scilly Isles. During the early part of the night the breeze came mainly from the east and we had a lot of fog and drizzle which resulted in us having a few close up views of several