Only 30 days to the start
Only 30 days to the start of the 2011 Azores and back yacht race (AZAB) and Concerto will be on the start line along with two other Contessa 32âs and approximately 60 other boats. Only 30 days! It is not long when you have had the event in the back of your mind for about 8 years and quietly preparing for the last two. I hate to admit it but after all my time thinking about the event, come the 4th June and the starting gun I fear that the following few weeks will be a blur.
So, for those that are interested, and even those that I have bored senseless with talk of AIS transponders, WindPilots, ISAF regulations and satellite communications, this site is going to have a record of our trip. For more information about the race go to www.azab2011.co.uk, from here you should be able to go to the race tracker for our latest position. With luck, a satellite phone and some clever software from Mailasail we should be able to write a log of our trip and post it on this site while we are offshore. Remember that this race is being carried out under a handicap system (IRC) so while we may be near the back of the fleet on the water the final result will hopefully tell a different story.
As the name suggests this is a race from Falmouth to the Azores with a stopover on the Island of Sao Miguel and then a return leg to Falmouth. The total race distance is circa 2500 miles if we are able to sail a direct course but I am sure the wind-gods will have something to say about that. Leg one starts on the 4th June and the passage it likely to take 9-12 days for us as we are one of the smaller and slower boats. Leg two starts on 21st June so we will hopefully be finishing in Falmouth by the start of July.
Joining me for the race will be Mark Anstey a very good sailing friend who has raced on Concerto for a number of years. To qualify for the race we had to do a passage of at least 500 miles and then send off the evidence to the race director for approval. To this end Mark and I set off last summer for a passage down the English channel and out into the north Atlantic before turning around and heading for home. All went well both between us and on the boat so I feel confident that we will sail the boat well and not fall-out on our longer voyage. Like myself, Mark is a father of two so we will both be sailing for safety first and speed second, that said it would be great to beat the other Contessa 32s and that is our goal.
Thatâs all for now, I will post again once we get closer to the race start.