Sun 21 Nov 2010 09:52
We're off! Race started this afternoon for the racing class at 1240 hours in 12 knots of north easterly breeze, with BS reaching off the line with Jib top and full main doing about about 8 knots. With Roddy Simpson on the helm taking much delight in squeezing some bigger boats up towards the Spanish corvette "Vencedora" acting as the committee vessel, we passed 20m off her stern and out into open water. 20 mins later the cruisers started, making an extremely impressive sight with the mix of colourful spinnakers to our stern.

Were currently tracking southwards keeping Gran Canaria to starboard. Within 20 mins of the start we peeled to the S4, our brand new spinnaker and have been holding it ever since. Sailing's been great - at the time of writing we've covered 30 miles, top speed surfing down the waves in the early teens. The trick for now is not to get in stuck in the lee of the island to the south west. Weather grib files indicate that the wind will slowly veer to the east overnight for which we'll take the lift, remaining on port gybe. Maybe gybe later tomorrow.

Life on board is very comfortable. It's shorts and T shirts weather and it's only going to get warmer as we head south. And we've got Gary's chicken fajitas to look forward to tonight!

You can follow British Soldier's progress across the Atlantic by viewing the race tracker at the following link:

More tomorrow!