The Finish

Kevin & Victoria Rolling
Wed 29 Jun 2011 06:36

50 8.67n : 5 1.58w

The sun is up and just two miles to the finish line. Lady First, the boat we have been dueling with for the last three days is one mile behind us. They are catching us slowly as they are faster in these lighter conditions - but not fast enough…..

I am at the helm when Matt shouts "crab-pot marker buoy dead ahead" I had seen it and steered 3m up wind to miss it. Not enough ! As we passed it the rope under the surface caught on the keel and the buoy started to follow us - GGRRRRR !! We slowed down to a halt and Lady First were now bearing down on us rapidly. We tried to sail the boat backwards to release our tether but with no effect. The tide and breeze would not allow us to backtrack.

Matt shoots down below and reappears moments later with a sharp knife taped to the end of a pole. Cut the line ! Hanging over the side of Merlin hacking away at the rope for all we were worth……off it came and suddenly we were free once again. Back at the helm we were still one hundred meters ahead. Merlin steadily powered up in the light breeze but our head-sail was no match for the huge Genoa of Lady first who was doing twice our 3kts of speed. 

We crossed the line 3 seconds behind Lady First – a fitting end to an incredible race.

Sails down and motor on, we entered Pendennis Marina to be welcomed by other competitors already there.

We had a celebratory beer, Rick Steins Fish n Chips for lunch ….. and (yes you’ve guessed it) a curry at the local Indian that evening with crews from several other boats.

K & M on a high

Merlin breathing a sigh of relief