A 1st

Simon Ridley
Fri 22 Jun 2007 16:13
38:40.60N 09:19.07W

On a lovely sail from Peniche to Oieras on Wednesday 20th June, Gertha recorded her first official FIRST place on leg 5 of rally Portugal. The wind shifted round to the North allowing a very pleasant reach down 50 miles of coastline, before we rounded the headland towards the mouth of the river. The cruising chute was deployed in light winds and we managed to maintain 5 - 7 knots most of the trip.

Leaving Peniche we managed another flying start across the line, with Baltic Amber and Ruby in hot persuit, and for a few minutes it looked as if Ruby might have the edge. However, as soon as Vic came over on VHF asking if we were going to take the reef out of our mainsail (the cheek), Ruby mysteriously dropped back and we showed the rest of the fleet a clean pair of heels.

We crossed the finish line some 8 hours and 8 minutes after the start with all sails flying, and Graham from Rally Portugal managed some nice shots of us in full cry. So much were we enjoying the sail , we were half way down the river to Lisbon before we got the sails down and headed back down river to the marina!

The marina here in Oeiras is modern and very well organised. There are shops bars and restaurants along the marina quay which makes socialising with the rest of the fleet very easy.

At the prizegiving dinner last night which was another excellent spread, the boys from Cat-Man-Do (Pete, Brian and Rob) got their first award of the rally, bringing in first prize in the multi-hull class - well done lads! On adjusted time we came in first in Division 1 some 3 hours ahead of Ruby.

The weather is superb, and the whole fleet are finally feeling much more in holiday mode, with the promise of more wind from the same direction for tomorrow's hop down to Sines.

There are now quite a few pictures of Gertha on the Rally Portugal web-site, and in the "features" section you'll find a short video clip of dolphins which I shot in Biscay.