ARC Start - November 21st

Rapier 550 on tour
Mark Jarvis
Wed 24 Nov 2021 11:17
28 06.17N 016 24.1W
Here we are, the preparation is all done, the tanks are full and the latest weather information has been assessed and conclusions drawn, it's time to go!
The day is bright and sunny, like most of the days since we arrived.  We left the dock at 11am and motored out through the entrance with what seemed like all the other boats in the marina to get ready for the start at 12:30, I was glad of the outside engine remote control to allow me to negotiate through the amassed boats..
Unusually, its an upwind start today with the wind blowing at between 6 and 10 knots from the South. Our start is first and so we take a long beat away from the lone and then turn back with 30 minutes to go. The plan is not to be tussling for position at the start line but to be away soon after the first few depart. The plan works and we are away about 10th in our group. It's all upwind and so with jib and full main set the boat is making great upwind performance. We are sailing a little slower than some but higher and so by the time we are an hour out there are only 3 or 4 in our class still ahead. We are off the airport now and the wind is starting to drop so we try to sail out a bit further on one tack to clear the last headland and maybe use the assymetric spinnaker - not the for the last time, the wind drops just as we get it set and we realise almost everyone else is already motoring.
We sail for a while longer trying to get some performance in the right direction but finally we too choose to motor.
Not a bad day all-in-all, good to see how well our boat goes upwind compared to the other multihulls in our group. Now we need to see which wind model is the one we want to follow - only 2750 miles to go!