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