We prepared well on ‘EH01‘, as usual and all crew were excited to take on this fantastic race course; some for a second time around! The weather was forecast to be 15-20knots, slightly north or south of east for the whole race and this proved to be about right for the whole race except the wind speed was up perhaps in some places.[/vc_column_text]
We got a good start on EH01, choosing not to get too involved with other boats and instead looked for clear airs and big lanes as we needed to get trucking. Our plan was to hold on to the lead of the fleet on the first beat before cracking sheets and reaching for the Barbuda mark. This we did and we rounded the corner of Antigua in 4th place in our class. Wind angles were good so we transitioned to the Code 0 and this really worked for us. The sail actually being a 0.5 meant we could hold it while others with more traditional 0’s couldn’t. We quickly dispatched one of the other PYR boats, ‘Quokka’, and were chasing down the lead two boats of our old nemesis Scarlet Oyster and a local J122, Liquid; skippered by Jules White who had been PYR’s First Mate on our Round Britain & Ireland Race entry! Unfortunately the cover on the Code 0 halyard decided to part ways and we had an unforced and unexpected half drop, so we have to complete the job. We contemplated swapping halyards and re-hoisting but made the decision not to and finished the leg on just the main and J2, as we rounded the mark in 3rd.
Once round the mark we hoisted the S4 and headed off downwind, sailing as close to the rhum line as we could and looking to lay the corner of Nevis as close as we dared!
We made some decisions on the upwind leg at the Saints and to Desarade which meant that she extended a bit more and so they turned out to be the wrong decisions, covering her off would perhaps have been a better option with hindsight.