One of those events where you think you’ve done almost everything right, but you still don’t get to pick up any trophy.
We’d got a brilliant start mid line at 1400 Thursday off Denia. Right on the line on the gun and up to speed in 8 / 10 knots of SE breeze, and managed to find a slot allowing us to tack over and begin working the right side of the 55 mile leg over towards the southern tip of Formentera. Correct decision as the wind veered as expected early afternoon and it wasn’t long before we could deploy the Code 0 well before any other boat below us. Great ongoing speed saw us close Formentera in dropping breezes as dusk fell – but in close company with a Grand Soleil 50 right up with all the big boys and we thought, better placed than many. We were pumped, and gave a lot of thought to our strategy for the remained of the race. At that time our ETA was going to be 0900 Friday. Not to be!
We kept a good mile reaching east off the southern coast of Formentera as we could see the lights of multiple bigger boats edging along the shoreline, apparently in less air than we had. So felt even more pumped having given a similar wide berth to a wind hole off Cabo La Mola and then picked up speed running NE using our A2 in building 15/17 knots of southerly wind – leaving a large bunch of parked up boats behind.
The leg up to the small islet of Tagomago and the north east tip of Ibiza is about 25 miles so we ran on stb gybe for 15 before gybing back onto port. Most of the leg was fast – until the wind simply died! A good five miles short of Tagomago we had 0 wind speed, 0 boat speed, and only .5 / 1 knot of northerly flowing current to ease our pain.
Unfortunately those conditions barely changed through the remainder of the night – and most of the next morning! Just zero wind all around.
We did what’re we could to grab any whiff of breeze we came across, but essentially it wasn’t until Friday afternoon, as we’d just about drifted the whole length of Ibiza heading westward for our finish off San Antonio, that we saw a line of pressure coming up from behind and carrying with it a huge mob of boats!
Once it reached us we were again slipping along under A2 kite and crossed the finish at around 15:30 doing 8 knots before a building breeze……….
Tad frustrating, but if there were 100 ‘tasks’ we had to do in that race, we did 95 of them perfectly. Just maybe had we gybed inshore up the east of Formentera we might have got more current closer to shore to help us round Tagomago and Ibiza’s north east cape and into the breeze that apparently other earlier boat enjoyed north of Ibiza. But can’t think of anything else we could have done to improve our result.
Anyway, we were 5th in Division 3 and 12th overall from the fleet of 87. And well pleased with the way everyone sailed the boat to get the maximum from her.
Interestingly had we raced in Division 1 or 2 then our rating would have placed us 3rd in each! Definitely a frustrating race…….
As expected, San Antonio proved a great place for post race R & R. It was my birthday on the Friday so not 100% clear on when we got back to the boat……great night out.
Saturday was just as bad, but at least I recall it was 4am before we left the last bar! And then it was up at 6 – to begin a reachy flat water slide back home to Calpe.
Big thanks to the team – Rob, Kevin, Eric and Laurent for a brilliant weekend away.