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RORC Channel Race - Scarlet Logic

Fireworks and Leprechauns  - Blog by crew member by Simon
 
The day before the race we were loading food aboard Scarlet Logic, Ross, our skipper, comes down to look at our stowage efforts, "We have far too much food onboard" says Ross, "That's because you never let us off the rail to eat it" comments a crew member, demonic laughter from Ross and we are soon off-loading food.

On race day we leave Port Hamble Marina in the sunshine, playing a track from The Wolverines, an Aussie country rock band "What a bloody great day to go sailing". This amuses everyone we pass and we set off in great spirits. Helen from Sweden, whose English is impeccable with a touch of a Gaelic accent, covers herself in green suntan cream and looks like a lady leprechaun. Each crew member solicitously asks if she is feeling OK!  Frantic phone calls to and from the Sailing Logic base when it is realised that Mark Burton our First Mate has his next of kin as his brother John Burton who has joined us on board for the race. So Mark quickly finds a new next of kin. We also welcome the experienced and calm Sarah Bole on board who knows Scarlet Logic well.  

Racing down the Solent on Saturday 26th July, we face a tricky decision whether to go down the IOW side or the mainland side, we choose the mainland side and are up with the frontrunners. Ross calls the wind shifts with great skill on our way towards Swanage. As night falls those on the rail watch a spectacular fireworks display  on the shore. This is too much for one over excited crew member, there is a sudden "whoosh" as his lifejacket accidently inflates, followed by hysterical laughter from the rest of the crew. The stars come out gradually, then suddenly there is a streak across The Plough  as a meteorite angles down leaving a trail of white light behind. Later in the night, Helen the leprechaun,  aka the tadpole (see earlier blog) bravely climbs to the top of the mast to sort out a halyard.

Back in full light, off the south coast of the IOW, we sprint past a temporarily stranded competitor  in a wind hole only 50 yards away. We gain several hundred yards before they are on their way again. On our route to the Outer Nab 2 mark  we find a huge ship, Leo Spirit,  a vehicle carrier, on our lay line to the buoy. Rapid discussion as to whether it is moving or not. As we get closer we see the anchor down and discretion being the better part of valour, skirt around its stern. We are soon racing past the forts and up the Solent to the finish line near East Head. We are pleased to have finished second in our class, IRC2 and in our last three races have finished 3rd, 3rd and 2nd, so our results continue to improve.   

Off loading any excess weight worked, so I am sorry that I smuggled a pack of Fruesli bars back on board and promise I won't do it again! Roll on the Round Britain and Ireland race starting 10th August where we will welcome Iain as a new crew member.  [Iain completed RB&I in 2010 with Sailing Logic and was first mate on Sailing Logic's Fastnet 2011 campaign, so he is no stranger to offshore racing! Welcome back Iain!]

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For armchair racers don't forget you can join in the action and watch the race unfold live via the race tracker, which goes live on August 10th.  Click here for the link and don't forget to bookmark it!

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