Sailing Logic Blog

Starboard all the way to St Malo

Friday 11th July, race day, and we are on starboard tack west down the Solent to St Malo, in sunshine and 10 knots of breeze. Dramatically just to windward of Scarlet Logic, Lady Mariposa a beautiful Oyster 625, loses her Code Zero, possibly a halyard breakage, and the crew are going full tilt heaving the sail from the water back on deck. A 50 foot trimaran Maitre Jacques comes flying past the fleet at twice the average speed of the pack.


Ross is three-quarters of the way up the mast when the electric winch stops working, fortunately, this was the previous day and we are in the Port Hamble marina, preparing the boat. Frantic hunting for the winch trip switches…not tripped, so must be thermal cut-out, wait, try again and Ross is up the top. With the strength of a polar bear, Ross picks up a very heavy mainsail that would take two normal people to carry and heaves on to the pontoon to batten up. Three divers in a RIB pass by, loads of charm from Ross and we are now at the front of the queue, having our hull scrubbed to perfection. The crew meet in the Dolce Vita restaurant in the evening for food and briefing.


Unbelievably we stay glued on starboard tack all the way to St Malo, in an elapsed time of 19 hours 22 minutes…so different to last years’ slow race! Throughout the race we are in close company with Relentless on Jellyfish. A very happy crew celebrate 5th overall out of 68 boats in IRC Overall and 3rd in class IRC 2. Amazingly this was an exact repeat of our result in the Morgan Cup race to Dartmouth two weeks earlier, where we were 5th out of 29 boats in IRC Overall and 3rd in class IRC 2.

After entering the Bassin Vauban in St Malo, via the Ecluse (lock) du Naye  with a wonderful rolling bridge, we all enjoy a sunshine breakfast in the Café de l’Ouest (top picture). Jess who has lived in France orders our food in fluent French. Having been up all night, it seemed like a good time for a beer…so we did! After a wander round St Malo, or a sleep, celebrations continue with moules mariniere at the Café “Rue de la Soif” literally street of thirst! Ross discusses the merits of using a sailmakers needle to stitch up wounds with Richard, our neurosurgeon. Both agree that superglue and Steri-Strips work well in an emergency. By coincidence we find we have booked the same table at the same restaurant, Le Chateaubriand, as the crew of Relentless on Jellyfish!


Next day we attend a prize-giving at the Societe Nautique de la Baie de Saint-Malo with the great and good of the French sailing hierarchy, complete with band. Leaving St Malo at lunchtime, we nearly made it home to Port Hamble all the way on port tack, just a quick starboard tack to avoid the tide…not that the crew don’t enjoy grinding winches but…!


Just one more race to go now, the RORC Channel Race on 26th July, before the big one, the Round Britain and Ireland Race starting 10th August. Ross continues to fine tune Scarlet Logic, the crew their gear, and the most debated subject … the food list. A final thought, if Scotland votes for independence, the next race in four years  will be The Round Britain, Ireland and Scotland race!  

Blog post written by Simon M, crew of Scarlet Logic, Team RB&I

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