Yagiza Blog - for review

Yagiza Race Team
Laurent Courbin/Philippe Falle
Wed 11 Jan 2023 18:20
Race Start– Day 1
Race day is finally here, its been greatly anticipated by crew and owner for a long time now, and a very excited and focussed team completes the final touches and say there farewells to loved ones before the start of the race.  An international crew that feel like a family now from France, Germany, Spain and England, a perfect blend of talented Professional sailors and skilled amateurs, and for this race we have 6 Transat virgins amongst them led by their fabulous skipper Philippe Falle and all made possible by the wonderful Yagiza owner Laurent Courbin.  This is the 3rd race in the 22/23 winter campaign for this team and the boat with her ‘new shoes’ (aka rudders) is ready to race!
We are all pretty focussed on race start, everyone is very quiet as we prepare mentally as well as in our roles to make the best start possible, probably the quietest the crew have ever been in the starting sequence (much to the delight of the skipper!) which pays off well as we cross the line in a good position and start our journey.   All the crews eyes focussed on our boat speed and performance as well as the competition in what could be a close race of pretty evenly matched boars in our class, everyone is in high spirits and ready for adventure.
Nothing like a mast climb for our hero Charles as we come to the first mark as we leave Lanzarote, but this is all taken in the teams stride and the race is on around the Canary Islands and into the Atlantic.  The big unanswered question of the day, where are the teaspoons... ? The first day ends with a positive starting position in our class and overall, an amazing sunset, a lovely home cooked chicken curry courtesy of one of our two victuallers Jo and great team camaraderie as we settle into the watch patterns for the night with still no teaspoons in sight but an amazing full moon to light the way!
Day 2
Stunning sunrise start to day 2 on Yagiza which sees lots of manoeuvres, especially when the skipper pops up funnily enough, pretty much using everything in the sail wardrobe as we do everything we can to maintain any lead or gains we can over our rivals on the water, its a race to see who get the beers first in Greneda but its still very early days!  In the daily briefings we go over the tactics around the Islands, talking wind shadows, and wind holes to avoid, as well as the latest weather and the route to take or not.  Yagiza is sailing like a dream practically singing to the crew as she surfs along.  Not sure the outside world understood our tactics as well as we did when a text from a crew members girlfriend asks why we look like we are about to hit an island on the tracker!?  Hmm....  thankfully we didn’t
The team will certainly be eating well as our Spanish wonder Amancio creates a fabulous salad for lunch, and delicious Bolognese for dinner, now nicknamed ‘Mich’ as we think Michelin should come give out some boat chef stars!  And Jo should go for a spot on bake-off with the wonders of making (as specially requested) a Guinness cake for tomorrow's birthday boy, lets hope it doesn’t have a “soggy bottom” unlike the crew, well mostly Hari-Pro (Harry) who’s had a few adventures on the bow sprit in the surf today !
Day 3
Now into day 3, crew settled into watches, getting some well earned sleep, (well some are) and Charles has been hanging out on the sheet a few times with the spinnaker flying and we surf along at 12-15 knots as we get better at the spinnaker peel process!  The last time he gets a big Yagiza kiss on getting back on the boat.  Some of us send a few last messages as we pull away from land and 4G for quite some time.  Ali gets confirmation her house hasn’t been broken into, it’s probably just the mice moving in (nothing like an automated security alert from home when your trimming a kite in 20knots of breeze!) and Phillipe advised the showers are open for business! We finish with a little rum sundowner, for the crew and Yagiza as we say goodbye to land, cross our first of many timezone changes and hello, hola, boujour to the Atlantic Ocean.
Day 4
An exciting start to the day as its the legendary Dave’s birthday!  Not sure what he wished for but we got a little bit of weather, 27+ knots of breeze and surfing at 18 knots before we had to quickly get the kite down.  Excellent helming by Sergio kept everything well under control and as they say on Yagiza  ‘team work makes the dream work’, no damage, everything intact and we are still surfing!  I say no damage, we have sadly lost today one of the spinnaker zips which has been with us from the start.... taken from us by not a North Sails sail, it served us well and will not be forgotten.  ‘Jib up’ as Dave would say, as we wait for the breeze to settle and now we are back to the kite, the sun is shinning, everyone’s happy and surfing along.  Dave gets a present from home of dark rum chocolate (yummy!) and a lovely video message and we look forward to the cake later and hoping all the candles don’t burn down the boat!  All he needs now is a cuppa soup and the birthday will be complete!
26 56N 24 54W