Skipper Simon Bradley, this time assisted by a first and second mate along with a crew of non-professional sailors, crossed the start line at the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes on Monday 11 August, sailing straight into a howling gale which battered the 11-strong fleet and forced six of the boats into port to repair damage and sit out the worst of the weather.
JAMAICA, used to the rigours of ocean racing, even if her crew succumbed to sea sickness for the first few days, pressed on, and will be the fourth boat to arrive in Madeira, off the west coast of Africa, this afternoon.
British Soldier arrived just before 8am today to join Norddeutsche Vermoegen and Pen Azen who are already in port. As the yachts are racing in different classes the timings must be adjusted according to each yacht’s handicap before the winner of the leg is announced. Puma Logic, the fifth yacht still racing, is approximately 20 nautical miles behind JAMAICA and also expected this afternoon.
The yachts must set off on the return leg before 26 August. They will inform the Race Director 24 hours before they decide to set off.
Following the gruelling upwind sailing at the beginning of the leg, the crew of JAMAICA have enjoyed some champagne sailing conditions.
Sunday 17th August 2008
We’re currently under lightweight spinnaker in 5.9 knots of true wind from the northwest making a boat speed of 4.6 knots - not bad for a 32 tonne yacht. Our course is also still good for Madeira, which is always a bonus in these conditions.
Sailing a yacht in light airs is where a sailor’s skill really comes into play. High levels of concentration are required by the trimmers and driver, good communication with each other is essential as they try to maximise every breath of wind and swell from the waves.