Nearly there

Simon Ridley
Sun 24 Jun 2007 19:18
37:57.03N 08:51.95W

Rally Portugal update

Well here we are in Sines (pronounced cinch), having arrived yesterday afternoon after a good sail down from Oieras. This leg of the trip proved to be the most even in terms of boat performance, with most boats flying some kind of spinnaker at some stage through the day. Wind was right on the tail once we'd rounded the headland and gusting up to 20-25 knots. The sea was variable with some interesting chop and quite large waves. All in all this proved to be a challenging sail for Gertha with the skipper having to take over from the autohelm to try to keep us on course. Even with a reef in the main the boat was trying to round up coming down some of the bigger waves.

The real stars of the day were the boats flying Parasails, which are spinnakers with an aerofoil design built in. All of the multihulls are kitted out with them (and several of the monohulls)and it was good to see the crews on Rebel T and Cat-Man-Do really relishing the conditions, as they have had difficulty with the winds from the south earlier in the rally. Several other boats which hadn't really shown their full potential up to now also had a very good day.

We didn't get in the prizes on this leg but were pleased to come in fairly well up the finishing order.

Skipper's just been for a swim in the sea and confirms that despite appearances, and the fact that the beach here is pretty busy it is VERY cold in the water.

Final leg down to Lagos on the Algarve starts at 7.00am tomorrow, so we'll be having a sensibly early night. The wind is forecast to stay about the same, 15 knots from the north west, which will hopefully allow Gertha a good sail. I'm looking forward to a game of golf on Wednesday!