52:58.94N 06:01.99W Race Start Delayed - High winds

Rob Packham
Sat 21 Jun 2008 17:30
Star Dancer, Tim and I were all ready to go this morning. Pre-race is always a tense time and we were trying to relax with a big brunch fry-up at Tim and Ciara's apartment only to arrive at the Wicklow Harbour at 1330 to find the start had been delayed and is now scheduled for 1000 tomorrow morning. In one sense we were disappointed but the prospect of a first night beating into the teeth of a gale blowing from the south was certainly going to be a test! Star Dancer needs good wind but 30 to 40 kts is forecast and we have just got a gale warning - Fastnet - SW gale force 8 imminent increasing severe gale 9 soon.
It started raining at 0630 this morning and has rained throughout the day. We are tied up on the East Pier with a couple of boats outside us and right now the wind is picking up for the blow tonight.
Our last couple of days have seen intense preparation - up the mast, diving under to scrub her bottom and clearing vast amounts of non essential gear off the boat. Tim thinks Starry is Aladdins Cave!
The Wicklow Sailing club have been great hosts and the Guiness is good. It has been great to meet up with Pete and Emma from Ruffian who sailed a close race with Star Dancer on the AZAB last year. We have the same rating - 0.938 - as their Sigma 36 so the competition should be good.
Lets hope the gale blows through in time for the new start in the morning.