Bermudes 1000 - Race reflections
Bermudes 1000 - To fly, or not to fly?
I hardly had time to gather my thoughts after finishing the Bermudes 1000 just 24 hours ago. I was welcomed to the shore by race committee and fellow skippers, went for a quick shower and meal then headed straight back out with my delivery crew to catch the last of the North going tide and bring Superbigou back to Poole.
When I step back ashore on the other side, the pace of life will go interstellar once again so I have just a few hours left to reflect on the last week of my life and my monumental first steps towards the Vendee Globe race in 2020.
Bermudes 1000 - One week in
Yesterday was glorious sailing, uncomplicated steady breeze, bright sunshine and clear skies. It seemed there was little to report about the day; no dramas to recount, no hardships to bemoan. Then I kept catching myself looking up at the mainsail, still awestruck by how big it is and I realised just because there are no dramas does not make day un-noteworthy.
Bermudes 1000 - Time in slow motion
Pip has now been at sea over a week - and what a trying week it has been. Plagued by inconsistent breeze and a troublesome goose neck pin, life hasn’t been easy for Pip. However it hasn’t stopped her from enjoying every moment on the water.
Bermudes 1000 - Fighting for Vendee Globe Qualification
Have I really only been out here for 5 days? It feels a lot longer. Time does funny things when you are alone on a boat and today seems to have stretched out immeasurably.
The action today started with a wind shift. The night had been blustery, cold and wet so I was sat in the cuddy, occasionally popping on deck to check the gooseneck and scan the sails with a torch. The rest of the time I dozed, watching the numbers on my instruments, waiting for the shift I knew was coming but hoped not too soon.
Bermudes 1000 Race - Goose neck damage on board Superbigou
The last 24hrs has been a reminder of how big all of this, the ocean, the boat, all of the elements that need to be in balance to successfully race this boat. The tiniest things can trip you up, for me it's a bolt.
Bermudes 1000 Race - First night at sea
This morning whilst performing one of the regular deck and rig checks, Pip noticed that a critical pin holding the boom onto the mast had worked it’s way loose and was close to failing. This pin failing would have caused major issues for both Pip and the boat. Fortunately, Pip has managed to jury rig a temporary repair meaning that she is able to continue.
Bermudes 1000 Race - Hurry up and wait
After a 24hr postponement due to a storm forecast in the Atlantic, Pip set out yesterday on her first IMOCA race, the Bermudes 1000. The conditions on the start line were fair, with 15 - 18kts of breeze and a sailing up wind out of the bay of Douarnenez. The heavy weather from the last two days left an unstable sea state, but the sun was out and all the competitors accelerated across the line.
April Newsletter – The course to success
I am in Brest France, sitting on a beanbag at my computer waiting for the wind to arrive.
To recap on the story so far….
March Newsletter – Where There's A Boat There's Drama
It's April, I am on a one month countdown to my first ever IMOCA race and the days are relentlessly charging by.
Preparing to race this monster 60ft boat, single handed for the first time is a huge challenge no matter which way you consider it. I do have experience preparing for other campaigns to draw on but this project has taken every ounce of my knowledge, ability, self belief and sheer bloody mindedness to pull together.
February Newsletter – Mission Accomplished
I thought a long time before deciding to sail Superbigou single handedly 250 miles back from France to my home port of Poole. There were many reason's not to do it - the long dark February nights, the fact this solo trip would be the first offshore sailing the boat had done since it finished the Vendee Globe, but I knew this was a challenge I needed to face head on. It proved to be a trip that would test me to the core.
January Newsletter – A sign of the year to come
TheKiller Punch – I can't get rid of the knot in my stomach. It's been nearly two weeks since I first sailed the boat I will be racing around the world, and the enormity of what I have set out to achieve really settled on me for the first time.
We sailed from Lorient to Port La Foret, just over a week ago. It was the first time Superbigou had left the dock under my ownership, and together with my technical manager Paul we cast off in gusty conditions to make the 20 mile trip up the coast.
Merry Christmas and Happy 2019
If the last two weeks are any indication of what the next two years are going to be like then brace yourselves because we are in for a hell of a ride. I arrived in France with a clear picture in my head of how the rest of the month would go. Cranes had been booked, surveys scheduled, and my great friend and solo sailor Diane Reid had flown in from Canada to help get Superbigou through the necessary hurdles to be registered in the IMOCA class.
Just a short note to thank you for your support and wish you all the best for the festive season and great things for 2019.
I should hit the ground running in January when I have a busy month planned getting Super Bigou, measured and back into the IMOCA class then starting my training for the 2019 racing year.